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Japan pledges boats to Vietnam as China dispute simmers


NewsHubHANOI: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday promised Vietnam six new patrol boats during a visit to the Southeast Asian country, which is locked in a dispute with China over the busy South China Sea.
Abe’s stop in Vietnam completes a tour through an arc of a region where Japan stakes a leadership claim in the face of China’s growing dominance and uncertainty over what policy change Donald Trump will bring as U. S. president.
“We will strongly support Vietnam’s enhancing its maritime law enforcement capability,” Abe said, while emphasising that the dispute over the South China Sea should be settled through talks and in accordance with international law.
China claims almost all the South China Sea, through which about US$5 trillion (4.15 trillion pounds) worth of seaborne trade passes every year. Vietnam and four other countries also say they have rights in the sea, believed to have rich deposits of oil and gas.
Tokyo has no territorial ambitions there, but worries about China’s growing military reach into the sea lanes. Japan has a separate dispute with China over a cluster of islets in the East China Sea.

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