Japan to supply Fiji with small patrol boats through OSA Program; announcement expected for ¥400 million package

Japan is set to provide Fiji with small patrol and rescue boats for warning and surveillance operations as part of its Official Security Assistance (OSA) framework. This move comes as part of Japan’s efforts to strengthen the maritime security capabilities of countries that share its values. The supplies, worth approximately ¥400 million, will be given to Fiji free of charge.

The agreement, which is expected to be signed in Suva, is significant as Fiji will be the first Pacific island nation to receive equipment under the OSA framework. This is seen as a crucial step in advancing Japan’s vision of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” Fiji’s strategic location near sea lines connecting Japan, Australia, and the United States makes it a key player in this vision.

The provisions are aimed at helping Fiji enhance its deterrence capabilities, particularly in light of increasing Chinese influence in the region. The small patrol boats and other supplies provided by Japan will be used in joint training exercises with the Australian military to bolster Fiji’s warning and surveillance capabilities.

This partnership with Fiji marks the fourth time the OSA framework has been put into action since its inception this fiscal year. Previously, the framework has been utilized for similar purposes in the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.

The move comes amid growing concerns about China’s expanding influence in the Pacific region. By providing Fiji with equipment to strengthen its maritime security, Japan aims to counterbalance China’s presence and maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific.

With the signing of the agreement set to take place in Suva, the collaboration between Japan, Australia, and Fiji is expected to further the goal of promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific. The joint effort to enhance Fiji’s military capabilities reflects a concerted effort to safeguard the region’s maritime security.

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