Japan to sell 10 patrol vessels to Philippines in disputes with China

July 27, 2013 at 11:43 AM
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MANILA, July 27 (UPI) -- Japan agreed Saturday to provide the Philippine Coast Guard with 10 patrol vessels, officials in Manila said.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to a loan arrangement for the vessels during a meeting at Malacanang Palace during which they reviewed "security challenges," ABS-CBN News.com reported.

Both countries are involved in territorial disputes with China.

"We will strengthen our relationship as partners who share many strategic interests," Abe said in a joint news conference after the meeting, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

Aquino said he believed disputes with China could be resolved "by upholding the rule of law in international affairs and by finding just and peaceful solutions for our territorial disputes."

Manila and Beijing are disputing ownership of the Scarborough Shoal, called Huangyan Island by China, in the South China Sea. The Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea are contested by both Japan and China.

Abe arrived in Manila Friday for a two-day visit after stopping in Malaysia and Singapore, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

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