Japan, Vietnam sign defence transfer deal amid China worries

Editor1 Oct 18 2021 Current Affairs
Japan, Vietnam sign defence transfer deal amid China worries

Japan and Vietnam have agreed to step up cooperation amid worries about China’s growing military leverage, signing a new deal that enables the export of Japanese-made defence equipments and technology to Hanoi.

Japan’s Defence Minister said the deal elevates the two countries’ defence partnership “to a new level” and will bolster the defence ties through multinational joint exercises and other means.

Vietnam has territorial disputes with China over the Spratly and Paracel island groups in the South China Sea.

In a veiled reference to China’s increasingly assertive actions in the disputed waters, Japan’s Defence Ministry said both Japan and Vietnam agreed on the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and overflight in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as cooperation in various defence areas including cybersecurity.

Japan and China are also embroiled in a territorial dispute, with Tokyo regularly protesting against the Chinese coastguard’s presence in the East China Sea near the Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands, which Beijing also claims and calls Diaoyu. Japanese officials say Chinese vessels routinely violate Japanese territorial waters around the islands, sometimes threatening fishing boats.

Tokyo is looking to expand military cooperation beyond its longtime ally, the United States, and has hitherto signed similar agreements with the United Kingdom, Australia, Philippines and Indonesia.

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