MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is acquiring 10 brand new patrol ships from Japan to boost the country’s territorial defense in the West Philippine Sea.
“Japan is offering assistance [to boost] our maritime capability,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told reporters in a phone interview.
Vice Admiral Edmund Tan of the Philippine Coast Guard said the patrol ships will be used by the PCG.
The loan is now for approval of the National Economic Development Authority, Tan said.
Asked when the ships would arrive in the Philippines, Tan said it would depend on the “processing” of the papers.
“There’s still no approval,” he told reporters by phone. “We have to go to the process.”
Tan did not discuss further details.
In March, weeks before a standoff between China and Philippines began in the Scarborough Shoal, media reports in South Korea and Japan said Tokyo would provide the Philippines with patrol ships by year’s end.
The Japanese embassy in the Philippines on Thursday, however, said Tokyo has “not yet officially decided” if it would provide patrol vessels to Manila.