MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday said the government's request of 10 patrol boats from Japan is not directed against any particular country, especially China, with which the Philippines has a dispute over several territories.
"This is actually to upgrade the equipment of our Philippine Coast Guard for it to be able to do its mandate to monitor our seas, and make sure that there will be no intrusions in our maritime zones," DFA spokesman and Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez told reporters. "It is not directed at any country."
Hernandez said Japan is already considering the Philippines' request for patrol boats.
Japan's Nikkei business daily also reported that the Japanese government plans to donate patrol boats that will be financed via its 2013 budget. The newly built patrol vessels are said to cost ¥1 billion or $11 million each.
Japan and the Philippines each have territorial disputes with China. Japan and China are fighting over uninhabited islands in the East Asia Sea, which the former calls Senkaku and the latter Diaoyu.
The Philippines and China, on the other hand, have clashing claims over several islands in the Spratlys and the Scarborough Shoal.