Philippines to Buy Five Patrol Boats From Japan Amid Sea Tension

(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines will purchase five patrol vessels from Japan amid growing tensions in the South China Sea.

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The deal will be financed through a Japanese loan worth about 23.9 billion pesos ($415 million) and was signed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Japanese Ambassador Endo Kazuya, the Philippine Foreign Affairs Department said in a statement on its website Friday.

“This occasion signifies not only the deepening of bilateral relations between the Philippines and Japan, but also underscores our unwavering commitment to enhance our maritime safety capabilities for the benefit of our nation and the broader maritime community,” Manalo said.

The Philippines is beefing up its naval resources as tensions escalate with China over the South China Sea. Japan, together with Australia and the United States affirmed their position in April that the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal Award that favored the Philippines over China in their maritime dispute as final and legally binding.

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