Japan Gives Philippines A High - Speed Patrol Boat

Japan gives Philippines a high-speed patrol boat

Japan has provided the Philippines with a high-speed patrol boat to help step up its anti-terrorism operations.

A ceremony marking the occasion was held on Monday at the Philippine Coast Guard headquarters in Manila.

Masahiro Nakata, the minister at the Japanese Embassy, said the Philippines is an important partner of Japan in efforts to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Nakata added that Japan hopes to contribute to regional peace and stability by providing the Southeast Asian country with the equipment it needs.

The newly built, 15-meter boat is one of the fastest vessels owned by the Philippine Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard is aiming to improve its capability to stop terrorists from entering the country. In January, a suspected suicide bombing killed more than 20 people at a church on the southern island of Jolo.

Police say a man and a woman from Indonesia with links to an Islamist group in the Philippines were responsible for the attack. The couple is believed to have entered the country on a small boat and traveled from island to island.

Japan also plans to donate to the Philippines two large patrol boats used by its Coast Guard.