Japan to help improve maritime capabilities of 4 Asean states amid South China Sea row
The details of the project are being drawn up by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which is usually tasked by the government with implementing overseas development assistance schemes to build schools, hospitals and other infrastructure in developing nations.
“Japan announced the introduction of the Official Security Assistance (OSA) at the start of fiscal 2024 in April last year, to serve as a new framework for providing security assistance to other countries that require such help,” Iida said.
OSA will run in parallel to Japanese Overseas Development Assistance to all four nations, he added.
“The major purpose of OSA is to enhance these nations’ maritime domain awareness and capabilities and help to maintain stability,” Iida told This Week in Asia.
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The assistance will take the form of “bigger and faster cutters”, he suggested, as well as advanced radar to enable countries to obtain a better picture of the maritime threats that they face.
In the future, Japan is expected to provide reconnaissance drones and manned surveillance aircraft, Iida added.
Senior officials of JICA and Japan’s embassy in Manila met representatives of the Philippine government on January 18 to discuss the most effective forms of OSA that might be provided by Tokyo amid the evolving security challenges in the region.
JICA personnel have already conducted on-site surveys for projects in the Philippines and Indonesia, with similar surveys scheduled to take place in Malaysia and Vietnam in April. The agency will submit a detailed plan of the four nations’ requirements before March next year, national broadcaster NHK reported.
“I do not expect a