Japan likely to provide defense equipment to Vietnam, Djibouti

NHK has learned that Japan's government is considering providing defense equipment to Vietnam and Djibouti under a new security assistance framework.

Government officials say the two countries are candidates to receive Official Security Assistance, or OSA, during the fiscal year that begins next April.

The OSA framework is designed to provide defense equipment to Japan's like-minded countries as a way to deepen security cooperation.

Earlier this month, Japan and the Philippines agreed at a bilateral summit that Tokyo will provide Manila with surveillance radar systems under the framework.

Japanese officials are also making final arrangements to provide patrol boats to Bangladesh in the current fiscal year. Malaysia and Fiji are also set to receive equipment.

Vietnam has competing territorial claims with China in the South China Sea.

The eastern African nation of Djibouti hosts a temporary base for Japan's Self-Defense Force personnel, who are on an anti-piracy mission.

Japanese officials say they plan to make specific arrangements with the two countries about the types of equipment that would be provided.