HANOI: Japan said it would give Vietnam six vessels to boost the communist country’s capacity to patrol its territorial waters, amid a bitter maritime dispute with Beijing in the South China Sea.
The deal for the six used vessels, worth 500 million yen (RM16mil), was announced in Hanoi during a two-day visit by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida aimed at deepening bilateral ties.
“We hope this will help strengthen the maritime law enforcement capability of Vietnam,” Kishida said at a press briefing with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh.
Relations between Vietnam and neighbouring China plummeted to their worst point in decades in early May after Beijing moved a deep-water oil drilling rig into waters in the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam.
The rig’s deployment also triggered a wave of violent anti-China demonstrations and riots in Vietnam, which saw some foreign-invested factories vandalised and set on fire.
Japan and China are also locked in a bitter dispute over small, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. — AFP