Japanese coast guard ship docks in central Vietnam

By Nguyen Dong   July 26, 2016 | 02:22 pm GMT+7

The naval exchange is taking place amid growing tensions with China over disputed waters.

Japanese coast guard ship the Kojima arrived in Vietnam’s central coastal city of Da Nang yesterday, starting a five-day visit to promote understanding and friendship between the maritime law enforcement forces of the two countries.

The ship, with 91 crew members and trainees on board, is anchored at the city’s Tien Sa Port.

Vietnam’s Coast Guard Command, Border Patrol Directorate and the People’s Committee of Da Nang gave the Kojima, captained by Colonel Hiroyuki Nanaura, a warm welcome on Monday.

While in Vietnam, the Kojima's personnel will work side-by-side with Vietnamese officers from the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre No.2 based in Da Nang and the Regional Coast Guard Zone 2 based in Quang Nam to exchange expertise and experience in maritime search and rescue operations.

During the trip, the Japanese crew will also pay a courtesy call to leaders of Da Nang People's Committee as well as participate in sporting activities with Vietnamese coast guard officers.

This is the second time the Kojima has paid a friendly visit to Vietnam since 2013.

japanese-coast-guard-ship-visits-vietnams-central-city

Japanese coast guard ship the Kojima arrived in Vietnam’s central coastal city of Da Nang on July 25, starting a five-day visit to promote understanding and friendship. Photo by Le Phi.

Vietnam and Japan signed a Memorandum on Cooperation between their coast guard forces in September last year. Tokyo promised to give Vietnam more second-hand patrol vessels to enhance the capacity of Vietnam’s civilian coast guard. Tokyo also inked an agreement to grant 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) in non-refundable aid to Vietnam to maintain its maritime safety and stability in the 2015 fiscal year.

The two countries are active members of the multinational agreement among 16 countries in Asia, known as the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia (ReCAAP). Vietnam and Japan have also worked together to enforce maritime law in the region.

Another Japanese ship - the JSDS Shimokita (LST-4002) of the Maritime Self Defense Force - is currently anchored in Da Nang to participate in the Pacific Partnership 2016 (PP16). The PP16 is a multilateral humanitarian and disaster response exercise that the Vietnamese government is hosting in the central coastal city from July 15 to 28.

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