Japan to provide 4 patrol boats to Bangladesh under new security program

Japan's government has agreed with Bangladesh to provide four patrol boats under a new cooperation framework called Official Security Assistance, or OSA.

The new framework is designed to allow Japan to provide defense equipment and other materials to like-minded countries as a way to strengthen security cooperation.

Japanese officials say the Bangladesh Navy will use the patrol boats for monitoring and surveillance as well as disaster relief.

Officials at Japan's Foreign Ministry say Bangladesh is trying to lessen its dependence on China as the source of defense equipment. Japan apparently hopes to seize the opportunity to boost security cooperation with Bangladesh.

Earlier this month, Japan agreed with the Philippines at a bilateral summit to provide it with coastal surveillance radar systems under the OSA framework.

Japanese officials say they are also talking with Malaysia and Fiji to reach agreements under the OSA pact by the end of this year.