Japan provides Vietnam with 6 vessels to help boost maritime security capacity

Japan says it will provide Vietnam six vessels as part of a grant aid package that will boost Hanoi's maritime security patrol capacity at a time the country is locked in a territorial standoff with China in the South China Sea.

The deal announced Friday for the six used vessels worth 500 million Yen ($5 million) was signed by Vietnam's Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who is a two-day visit for a cooperation conference.

The deal comes as Vietnam-China relations plunge to its worst point in years following China's deployment of a giant oil rig in early May near the Paracel islands also claimed by Vietnam.

Japan is also locked in a territorial dispute with China.