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Japan gives Vietnam 2 ships to beef up maritime security

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 4, 2015

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Japanese government gifted Vietnam with two used ships Tuesday, continuing an effort to help the Southeast Asian nation beef up its maritime security amid heightened tensions with China.

The 600-ton vessels were handed over to the Vietnamese Coast Guard during a ceremony in Danang, Jiji Press reported Tuesday.

Japan has agreed to provide Vietnam with six used ships, two of which were delivered earlier, the report said. The remaining two are slated to arrive by the end of this year.

Vietnam is among several nations that dispute China’s broad, ambiguous claim to about 90 percent of the South China Sea, where more than $5 trillion in global sea trade and $1.2 billion in U.S. trade transits annually, according to U.S. government statistics.

In recent years, Chinese vessels have held showdowns at sea with Vietnamese and Philippine commercial ships and attempted to regulate fishing and other activities.

In September, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced plans to send Vietnam even more ships, during a meeting in Tokyo with Vietnamese Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

news@stripes.com

A Vietnamese officer aboard the vessel Coast Guard 4033 films Chinese coast guard vessel 3411 on Thursday, May 15, 2014, sailing in South China Sea waters claimed by both countries.
HAU DINH/AP

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