to provide $500 mil. for Indo-Pacific maritime security
Japan will provide a total of $500 million in aid for coastal
states in the Indo-Pacific in the three years to 2019 to help boost
maritime security there, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Thursday.
The measure was apparently in response to China's aggressive
pursuit of extensive maritime claims.
Kono made the announcement during a joint news conference after
a meeting of the foreign and defense ministers of Japan and the
United States in Washington.
A Japanese Foreign Ministry official said separately that aid
recipients include the Philippines and Vietnam, both of which are
embroiled in territorial disputes with Beijing in the South China Sea.
With the aid, Japan hopes to help recipients procure patrol
vessels and coast guard equipment, as well as conduct personnel
training, so as to improve their surveillance and law-enforcement
capabilities, the official told reporters.
Kono said Japan will expand cooperation with the United States
in the area of capacity building for developing Asian countries,
mainly in Southeast Asia.
"We agreed that Japan and the United States will closely
cooperate in ensuring economic development of this region with
transparency," he said.
Kono also said Japan will further increase security and defense
cooperation with Australia, India, South Korea and Southeast Asian
countries. (Aug. 17)