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January 2018

Feature Article

Capacity Building Support by the Japan Coast Guard to Developing Countries Mobile Cooperation Team


 by Ryoki Toku

 

 

Prologue

 

Sea routes in the Southeast Asian area can be said to be the life lines of Japan. The security and safety of the area is extremely important for Japanese ships as they pass through.

 

Each coastal country's maritime law enforcements are required to have the appropriate capabilities to be able to secure the area.

 

It is also important there are the good relationships and cooperation between the maritime law enforcements of these coastal countries and Japan.

 

Inauguration of JCG Mobile Cooperation Team

 

In October of 2017, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) established a brand-new unit in the JCG Headquarters called the "Mobile Cooperation Team (MCT)", which focuses on capacity building support for developing country's maritime law enforcements.

 

The MCT consists of 7 people. There are 6 members, under the direction of the seventh member who is the Director for Coast Guard International Cooperation.

 

They engage in training for foreign maritime law enforcement and their goal is to create effective, consistent, and sustainable capacity building support, as well as build trusting relationships with other countries through consultations about country needs in advance, and provision of detailed curriculums following the outcomes of these discussions.

(The Japan Coast Guard HP, Public release, http://www.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/info/topics/171002_mct_start.pdf,

(Access: 11th Dec,2017))

 

 

The first mission of MCT

 

One month from the inauguration of the MCT, they were dispatched to the Philippines for their first mission: to train the Philippine Coast Guard.

The MCT engaged in exercises regarding the maneuvering of high speed small boats.

 

Thee high speed small boats that were used in the exercises were transferred from the Japan government to the Philippine government.

The MCT members instructed in several maneuvering skills that related to maritime law enforcement, such as guarding measures, like pinch maneuvering, as well as basic techniques like turning, chasing, or approaching the port.

 

This exercise became an opportunity to teach JCG's maneuvering techniques to other nation's maritime law enforcements as well, given that coast guards from Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia also participated in the exercises.

(The Japan Coast Guard HP, Public release, http://www.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/info/kouhou/h29/k20171122/k171122-1.pdf(Access: 11th Dec,2017))

 


The opportunity for cooperation between the USCG and the JCG in the field of capacity building support

 

The MCT's first mission was also an opportunity for cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the JCG.

 

During the same period, the USCG was also in the Philippines to train the coast guard. The USCG and the JCG coordinated on site, and the USCG then gave a lecture about the maintenance of small boat engines.

 

As a result, in this case, we can say that the USCG and the JCG provided joint training for high speed small boats through their cooperation.

(The Japan Coast Guard HP, Public release,http://www.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/info/kouhou/h29/k20171122/k171122-1.pdf(Access: 11th Dec,2017))

 


Conclusion

 

The JCG says that through these activities it would like to deepen its trust relationships with other national maritime law enforcements, and contribute to maintaining and developing open and stable oceans under the rules of law.

(The Japan Coast Guard HP, Public release, http://www.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/info/kouhou/h29/k20171122/k171122-1.pdf(Access: 11th Dec,2017))

 

The JCG has engaged in several capacity building efforts regarding maritime law enforcement, especially in Southeast Asian countries, not only recently through the activities of the MCT.

 

It is hoped that these engagements help in establishing an international network in the field of maritime law enforcement amongst those who share the same values. In addition, these engagements promote regional cooperation that should help lead to an avoidance of risks in any unpreventable accidents in the future.

 

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