(From Asahi Shimbun)
By Manabu Sasaki
CAM RANH, Vietnam–For the first time since the end of World War II, Japanese destroyers dropped anchor at a Vietnamese port, signifying the two nations’ defense cooperation.
On April 12, the Ariake and Setogiri from the Maritime Self-Defense Force made a port call at Cam Ranh Bay, one of the most strategic areas for Vietnam’s defense of the South China Sea.
“This is a historic visit because the selection of the port of call was made based on extremely strategic factors,” said a Japanese government source.
Because it is rare for foreign vessels to be allowed into the port, the entry by the two Japanese destroyers is a symbol of the strengthened defense cooperation between Japan and Vietnam. That cooperation has been heightened, in part, due to moves being made by China to strengthen its effective control over the waters in the South China Sea.
Located in the southern part of the nation, Cam Ranh Bay is close to the Spratly Islands, which are at the center of a territorial dispute involving China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Read more