Japan giving two coast guard boats to Malaysia

TOKYO • Japan is delivering two of its used coast guard patrol boats to Malaysia for free, just two weeks after Kuala Lumpur signed a deal to buy four coastal vessels from China.

Malaysia and Japan will formalise an agreement for the handover of the coast guard boats today, as part of Prime Minister Najib Razak's working visit to Japan, the New Straits Times (NST) reported yesterday on its website.

Japan had pledged to provide patrol boats to Malaysia at the Asean summit in Laos recently, NST said, quoting Malaysian ambassador to Japan Ahmad Izlan Idris. The vessels will be used by the coast guard, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

The vessels will be provided without cost and delivered to Malaysia next year along with training and support, the newspaper said.

Japan had also agreed to provide the Philippines with two large patrol vessels.

Datuk Seri Najib, who made a state visit to China earlier this month, had witnessed the signing of a deal to buy four littoral mission ships from China. These are fast patrol vessels that can be equipped with a helicopter flight deck and carry missiles. They are said to cost around RM300 million (S$100 million) each.

Malaysian state media reported after Mr Najib's meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that of the four vessels, two will be built in China and two in Malaysia.

Mr Najib is on a three-day working visit to Japan from today.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2016, with the headline 'Japan giving two coast guard boats to Malaysia'. Print Edition | Subscribe