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    Posted June 23, 2014 by

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    Japan supports Phl efforts in domain awareness

    THE government welcomes the continuing support of the Japanese government, especially in helping raise the people's awareness of maritime domain, a Philippine diplomat said Monday.
    Charge d' Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo Gilberto G. B. Asuque told Radio TV Malacanang in an interview that awareness of maritime domain is a key component of the present government's foreign policy.
    Asuque, who heads the Philippine technical working group on the maritime boundary delimitation and member of the West Philippine Task Force, also said the present government wants ordinary Filipinos and government institutions to know their sovereign and maritime entitlements under international laws, especially the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea.
    “Japan supports the Philippine policy to raise our capacity and level of awareness for maritime domain, the capacity to monitor," he said.
    "For that purpose, the Japanese government has supported the Philippine government in terms of assistance to provide the Philippine Coast Guard with 10 patrol craft," he added.
    The patrol watercraft, called multi-role response vehicle or MRRVs, will be used to increase the capability of the Coast Guard in monitoring the country’s maritime domain and exclusive economic zone, as well as to enforce Philippine laws, Asuque said, adding that Japan is extending technical assistance aside from providing the 10 MRRVs.
    The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), which oversees the Philippine Coast Guard, expects to receive three MRRVs next year, and the remaining seven in early 2016, he said.
    Japan is also providing the necessary communication system to operate the watercraft, and will continue to conduct training for the Coast Guard for maritime security and environment protection, as well as navigational safety, the embassy official added.
    President Benigno Aquino III will visit Japan on Tuesday for a luncheon meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and to deliver the keynote address at the Consolidation for Peace for Mindanao Conference in Hiroshima.
    Asuque said that during their meeting, President Aquino and Prime Minister Abe will focus on the lasting peace in Mindanao through the creation of the Bangsamoro government and assess maritime disputes with China.
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