JAPAN - With China's maritime expansion in the South China Sea in mind, Japan and the United States will jointly help the Association of Southeast Asian Nations member countries strengthen their maritime monitoring capabilities, it was learned Friday.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Barack Obama will agree on the plan during summit talks scheduled for Thursday in Tokyo, sources said. The agreement is expected to be incorporated in a joint statement to be signed by the two leaders after the summit meeting.
According to the sources, Japan and the United States will provide patrol vessels to ASEAN countries and help train coast guard members and officials. The two countries will also help establish a framework among ASEAN countries to share information regarding pirate ships and other suspicious vessels.
The support to improve capabilities of coast guards also aims to help ASEAN countries better deal with natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes.