Japan to provide Malaysia with two patrol vessels

TOKYO: Japan plans to provide Malaysia with two large second-hand patrol vessels to help enhance its maritime security capabilities in the South China Sea, according to government sources.

With the provision of the two 90-meter-long vessels, the government aims to put a brake on China’s continuing unilateral maritime advances, the sources said.

The Japanese and Malaysian governments, which are coordinating to realise a visit to Japan by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in mid-November, will speed up consultations for the provision of the vessels.

According to the sources, the government plans to repair two large patrol vessels that were used by the Japan Coast Guard and give them to Malaysia next year. The government is considering utilising official development assistance funds for the repair work.

It was announced in September that Japan will provide the Philippines with patrol vessels. The two 90-meter-long vessels to be provided to Malaysia are the same size as those for the Philippines.

The Malaysian side asked the Japanese government to provide patrol vessels that are highly capable of navigating in bad weather.

China has been building artificial islands in the South China Sea and turning them into military bases. Japan actively helps coastal countries in the South China Sea to strengthen their maritime security capabilities in order to put a brake on China’s moves.

Troublesome incidents involving Chinese fishing boats frequently occur in waters off the coasts of Vietnam and Malaysia. China’s occupation of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, which were effectively controlled by the Philippines, is an example of poor coastal security becoming an issue for these countries. - The Japan News/Asia News Network.

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