Japan to Give Ships to Philippines

patrol boats
File photo: Japanese patrol boats

Published Sep 6, 2016 5:04 AM by Reuters

On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to provide two large-sized patrol ships and lend up to five used surveillance aircraft to the Philippines, a Japanese government spokesman said, with both countries locked in territorial disputes with China.

Abe and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte agreed in Vientiane to strengthen cooperation to ensure a peaceful resolution of the South China Sea dispute, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda said.

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims.

An arbitration court in The Hague in July invalidated China's claims to the waterway after a case was brought by the Philippines, a ruling that Beijing refuses to recognize.

Japan's ties with China have been marred by a long-running territorial spat over a group of small islets in the East China Sea.

Japan has already agreed to provide 10 smaller-sized patrol ships to the Philippines.