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Maritime Self-Defense Force and Japanese Coast Guard to jointly assist Marshall Islands coast guard authorities; Aims for a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The main entrance to the Ministry of Defense can be seen in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force and Japan Coast Guard plan to visit the Marshall Islands this month to jointly provide technical assistance to the Pacific island’s coast guard authorities, according to Japanese government sources.

The goal is to help the Marshall Islands improve its Coast Guard capabilities through joint exercises and other activities.

This is the first time the MSDF and JCG have jointly landed on a Pacific island to provide such assistance.

The Japanese government is wary of China’s attempts to increase its influence over some island states by signing security pacts, among other things. With the coming aid, the government wants to realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific” based on the rule of law.

WEB14Gen map
The Yomiuri Shimbun

The MSDF and the JCG will conduct a joint rescue exercise for Marshall Islands coast guard personnel in the capital Majuro this month, according to Japanese government sources.

The MSDF will also conduct training with Marshall Islands ships.

JCG personnel will remain on the Pacific island until the end of this month to conduct training such as ship inspection.

The MSDF and the JCG hope that their collaboration will broaden the scope of assistance to improve other countries’ coast guard capabilities, thereby increasing the effectiveness of such exercises.

The JCG began efforts to strengthen ties with island nations last fiscal year, deploying personnel specializing in capacity-building assistance to three countries, including Kiribati, for the first time.

Last month, the MSDF also announced that it will deploy the Special Boarding Unit (SBU), which responds to spy ships and suspicious vessels, to countries in the Indo-Pacific region to help strengthen their law enforcement capabilities.

During the planned deployment to the Marshall Islands, the MSDF will not deploy the SBU.



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