Japan seeks to help boost Vietnam navy
Japan will propose that Vietnam set up a civil maritime security force to facilitate the export of patrol vessels to Vietnam at upcoming maritime security talks between the two countries, Japanese media reported.
The proposal, which came ahead of the two countries' first-ever maritime security talks this month, has been interpreted as an attempt to counter China's invasive activities in the South China Sea.
Japan's Kyodo News quoted sources as saying that the two sides are expected to discuss Japan's possible provision of patrol vessels to Vietnam.
Media reports stated Japan is planning to export high-performance maritime patrol ships above 1,000 tons in an effort to help Vietnam strengthen its capacity to protect its rights.
However, given that Japan's assistance can only be channeled to non-military programs, Tokyo will reportedly suggest the Vietnamese government should separate its maritime police force from its army, so as to facilitate the export.
Japan hopes to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam on maritime security, and wants to help Vietnam establish a mechanism equivalent to the Japan Coast Guard. One report from Ribenxinwen said the Japan's self-defense force is helping Vietnam train submarine crews, citing an unnamed Japanese official.