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Japan donates new patrol vessel to Indonesia's Bakamla.

According to information published by Kompas on July 8, 2024, the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) has received a new patrol vessel from the Japanese government.
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Japanese built offshore patrol vessel KM Arau. (Picture source: Saigen Jiro)

A follow-up meeting regarding the donation was held between Bakamla and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The session, led by Bakamla's Secretary General, Vice Admiral T. E. Witjaksono, focused on the details of the patrol ship donation, valued at 9.053 billion yen.

The vessel, with a capacity for 70 crew members, measures 85.6 meters in length and can reach speeds of up to 22 knots. Construction will take place in Japan, and upon completion, the ship will be officially handed over to Bakamla by the Japanese government through JICA and Japan Marine Science Inc. (JMS).

Previously, Bakamla's Chief, Vice Admiral Irvansyah, met with the Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia, Masaki Yasushi, on March 22, 2024. This meeting discussed the vessel donation, highlighting the shared maritime values between Japan and Indonesia, particularly the importance of maintaining and enhancing maritime order based on the rule of law.

Japanese strategy

Japan's policy of donating patrol vessels to other countries primarily aims to enhance maritime security and strengthen diplomatic relations. This initiative is largely driven by Japan's strategic interests in maintaining regional stability and countering China's growing maritime influence.

One notable example is the donation of patrol vessels to the Philippines. Japan and the Philippines have a long-standing partnership, which includes the procurement of multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) through Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) program. The latest agreement involves five additional 97-meter patrol vessels to enhance the PCG's capability in the West Philippine Sea, a region with significant geopolitical tensions​.

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