Japan is now considering Vietnam's request for brand new ships to strengthen the country’s maritime security, Japan's foreign ministry deputy spokesman Masato Otaka told reporters in Hanoi on Thursday.
Otaka spoke to the press following Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida's Vietnam visit the same day, Tuoi Tre reported.
He said Vietnam asked Japan to provide vessels to strengthen its coast guard during talks between Kishida and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
He added that timing, methods of delivery, costs and quantity of vessels had not yet been decided.
The two countries signed a defense cooperation agreement in 2011. Last year, Japan provided Vietnam with six secondhand patrol ships as part of a 500 million yen (US$4 million) aid program.
Kishida told Vietnamese leaders Japan will continue to assist Vietnam in the development of infrastructure and human resources via official development assistance (ODA) loans.
He promised to help Vietnam cope with drought and saltwater intrusion at PM Phuc’s request.