Japan provides 1st of 6 patrol ships to Vietnam

By Le Tan, Thanh Nien News

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The Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance force at the handover ceremony of Japan's Hayato in Hai Phong City on August 5, 2015. Photo: Le Tan
The first of the six Japanese-funded vessels used for maritime patrols was handed over to Vietnam on Wednesday.
The Japan International Cooperation System (JICS) handed the ship named Hayato to the Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance force at Hong Ha Shipyard in Hai Phong City.
The ship is more than 56 meters long and nine meters wide and has the maximum speed of 12.5 nautical miles per hour.
The ship was built in 1993 and first used for fishing purposes but was then restored by the Japanese government for maritime patrols.
Luu Van Huy, head of the Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance, said Hayato is the most advanced vessel it has ever had. The ship can operate for two consecutive months without fuel refilling. 
Japanese envoy Nagai Katsuro said at the handover ceremony Hayato is among the three patrol ships that Japan is scheduled to provide to Vietnam this year.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced the plan to provide Vietnam with six vessels as part of a 500 million yen (US$4 million) aid package during his Vietnam visit last August.
He expected that the ships will be used for maritime security patrols by Vietnam, which is in a territorial standoff with China in the South China Sea, Japanese government sources said.
Of the six vessels, two are patrol boats of the Japanese Fisheries Agency, while four are commercial fishing boats, the sources said.
All are previously owned and are 600- to 800-ton-class ships. Lifeboats and other equipment will also be offered, the Japan Times reported.

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