Malaysian coast guard holds drill in South China Sea with Japan's help

Malaysia's coast guard has held training under the guidance of its Japanese counterpart to better deal with foreign ships in the South China Sea, where Beijing is ramping up its maritime activities.

The exercise took place in waters off the island of Borneo. It was coordinated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, to enhance Malaysia's capabilities.

The drill involved a Malaysian patrol ship equipped with a long-range acoustic device.

Its crew warned fishing boats acting as intruders in Malaysia's exclusive economic zone and ordered them to leave.

Japan is expected to provide four of the acoustic devices to Malaysia.

Nur Syam, Senior Principal Assistant Director of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, said, "The training was successful. Malaysia's maritime security capabilities will be strengthened with Japan's cooperation."

Japanese coast guard official Tamura Makoto said, "Southeast Asia has sea lanes vital to Japan. We will continue to support nations in the region so that they can better ensure maritime safety."

Chinese vessels have been increasing their activities in the South China Sea. Vietnamese fishing boats have also been more frequently spotted operating illegally in the waters.