Japan has provided three rigid hull inflatable boats. The boats are 7.3 meters longs and can sail up to 45 to 60 knots per hour. The East Asian country will donate seven more boats in 2018. The STAR/ Evelyn Macairan

MANILA, Philippines — The Japanese government on Thursday has donated patrol watercrafts to the Philippine Coast Guard as part of its commitment to help boost the country’s maritime security.

Japan has provided three rigid hull inflatable boats. The boats are 7.3 meters longs and can sail up to 45 to 60 knots per hour.

The East Asian country will donate seven more boats in 2018.

“This was donated to us during the president’s visit to Japan early this year in the amount of ¥600 million to help the PCG in the fight against terrorism and piracy,” PCG Spokesperson Commander Armand Balilo told Philstar.com.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon and Japan State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kentaro Sonoura led the activity.

The Japanese government told PCG that it will build four radar stations in Sibutu Passage where there had been sea piracy incidents.

During his press briefing Tuesday night, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that his government will provide maritime support to the Philippines as the country is positioned in a “strategic location on the sea lane.”

“As such, it is confronted with challenges such as those of maritime security and terrorism. In addition, it now falls under the domain of North Korean’s ballistic missile,” he said.

In his three meetings with Duterte this year, Abe said that he and the Philippine president have agreed to “deepen our cooperation.”

“In addition to providing Philippine Coast Guard with patrol and high speed vessels which has already been implemented, we have decided on a ¥1-billion grant in aid to coastal surveillance, radar facilities and some documents were exchanged in the presence of myself and President Duterte,” the Japanese leader said.

Abe added that Japan will provide assistance of approximately ¥15 billion to improve the peace and order in Mindanao and the Celebes Sea.

On Monday, Duterte and Abe witnessed the signing of noted on the sidelines of their bilateral meeting during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit

The Japanese assistance include ¥104.53 billion (P46 billion) for the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway Project, ¥9.399 billion (P4 billion) for the construction of a bypass road along the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway in Plaridel, Bulacan.

Japan will also provide an aid grant of ¥2.5 billion (1 billion) for the procurement of equipment and materials for counterterrorism such as coast watch radar and reconstruction of war-torn Marawi City.

Source/Read more: https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/11/16/1759500/japan-donates-patrol-boats-coast-guard