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Japan Coast Guard visits Vietnam at 50th anniversary of bilateral ties
Minh Nguyen 23:03, 2023/02/19
The Japan Coast Guard sent its first patrol ship to Vietnam in 2012 and has maintained the port visits ever since.

The Japan Coast Guard patrol ship “Settsu” has concluded a week-long visit to Vietnam’s Central City of Danang as a major part of the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations set up by Hanoi and Tokyo.

 The Japan Coast Guard patrol ship “Settsu” docks at Tien Sa Port, Danang, Vietnam. Photos: Quang Hai/The Hanoi Times

The port call to Tien Sa Port starting on February 13 is the first paid by the Japan Coast Guard to Vietnam over the past four years.

During the visit, crew members participated in joint drills, training sessions, and exchanges with soldiers and officers from the Vietnam Coast Guard Region 2 to improve coordination between the Japan Coast Guard and the Vietnam Coast Guard.

Settsu, which is tasked with patrolling mainly against pirates and other armed criminals, has 52 crew members, captained by Colonel Satoshi Niwa.

Both the Coast Guards of Vietnam and Japan are participants in the Information Sharing Center Against Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).

The Japan Coast Guard made its first friendly visit to Vietnam in June 2012, and it has continued to make yearly trips since then. The Vietnamese Coast Guard delivered its first vessel to the Japanese Coast Guard in Yokohama City in 2019.

To exchange information, the two parties have set up communication channels.

It is a good opportunity for both sides to learn from experience in law enforcement at sea and to enhance exchanges to raise mutual trust and understanding, according to Col. Tran Quang Tuan, Commander of Vietnam Coast Guard Region 2, stationed in the central province of Quang Nam and in charge of the waters off Vietnam's central coast.

 Japan Coast Guard welcomed in Danang. 

Settsu traveled to Danang after cruising Southeast Asian waters. Vietnam is one of the Southeast Asian nations with territorial claims in the South China Sea, where China is actively encroaching.

As a result, the Japan Coast Guard has sent patrol boats to the waters off Southeast Asia so far and has worked to improve cooperation by holding joint drills with navies from various nations.

According to Satoshi Niwa, the captain of the Japanese patrol ship, Japan and Vietnam have a long-standing relationship in which they support one another's development. The maritime security and safety forces of the two nations frequently arrange exchange trips.

“In addition, we routinely engage in training exercises and knowledge sharing in search and rescue while on patrol to deter maritime criminals. We all help to keep the Indo-Pacific region peaceful by engaging in this activity,” he noted.

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