Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2006

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2005 > Chapter 2 Details about Japan's ODA > Section 4. Operational Status of the Principle of ODA Implementation > 4. Provision of Patrol Vessels to Indonesia

4. Provision of Patrol Vessels to Indonesia

The Strait of Malacca is a major international maritime transport artery through which approximately 90,000 ships pass each year. Approximately 14,000 of those are related to Japan, more than from any other country in the world. In addition, approximately 90% of the oil imported to Japan goes through this strait, which, therefore, is an extremely important sea lane for Japan. Since approximately 37% of all the piracy incidents occur in the Southeast Asian region, including the Strait of Malacca and surrounding areas, it is necessary to take urgent measures to strengthen the maritime security systems of the coastal countries surrounding these sea areas. In fact, as can be seen from the incident in March 2005 when the tugboat Idaten (a vessel registered in Japan) was attacked and some Japanese crew members were abducted by pirates as it passed through the Strait of Malacca, acts of piracy have become a direct threat to the Japanese citizens involved in maritime transport and to the economic activities of Japan.

    In this background, in June 2003 the then President Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia, and in February 2004 the Minister of Foreign Affairs Noer Hassan Wirajuda made a request to Japan for grant aid to construct patrol vessels with the objective of strengthening maritime security systems in order to prevent terrorism and piracy. The ODA Charter positions preventing terrorism as a major issue inherent to the stability and development of the international community and thus Japan has been actively supporting efforts to prevent terrorism and piracy.

    Since the patrol vessels to be exported to Indonesia have been bullet-proofed to protect their crew members, they fall under the category of "military vessels" stipulated by the Export Trade Control Ordinance. As a result, the vessels fall under "arms" as defined in Japan's Policies on the Control of Arms Exports,54 the export of which shall be restrained in line with the spirit of the Constitution of Japan and Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law. For this reason it was necessary to reach an agreement with the Indonesian side to ensure that the patrol vessels supplied through this project are a part of Japan's ODA, that they are to be used only for the enforcement and prevention against terrorism, and acts of piracy, etc., not for any other objective, and that the vessels are not to be transferred to any third party without the prior approval of Japan. So these points were included in the agreement between Japan and Indonesia and the provision of the vessels was made an exception to the Three Principles on Arms Export.55 In this way the implementation of support in compliance with the ODA Charter was ensured and it was possible to ensure that the support adhered to the basic philosophy of the Three Principles on Arms Export, avoiding the exacerbation of international conflicts.

    After taking these measures, in June 2006 the Government of Japan announced that it would extend to the Government of Indonesia grant aid of up to a total of ¥1,921 million for the project for the "Construction of Patrol Vessels for the Prevention of Piracy, Maritime Terrorism and Proliferation of Weapons," the purpose of which is to provide three patrol vessels. Japan intends to continue to actively support the enforcement and prevention against terrorism and acts of piracy in developing countries in line with the principles in the ODA Charter.