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Japan to provide military aid to ‘like-minded nations’

Japan announced on Wednesday that it will provide military assistance, including equipment, to “like-minded nations.”

The Foreign Ministry said Japan will “steadily provide Official Security Assistance (OSA)” under a new framework adopted by the country’s National Security Council.

Four Asia-Pacific nations, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Fiji, “have been designated as recipients of the new grant assistance, designed to create a favorable security environment for Japan,” Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported, citing the Japanese government.

The OSA allows Japan to extend assistance for military purposes. For non-military purposes, Tokyo supports developing nations through its Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida-led government adopted a new “National Security Strategy” in December last year.

Kishida’s policies have resulted in a record increase in Japan’s defense spending of 6.82 trillion yen (about $51.7 billion), a 26.3% rise from the previous year.

Japan has earmarked around two billion yen (approximately $15 million) to launch the OSA until March next year.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno confirmed that Japan will “provide equipment to the militaries of ‘like-minded’ nations that share common values, such as the rule of law, in a bid to improve their defense capabilities.”

“The measures will help deter unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, particularly in the Indo-Pacific,” Matsuno added.

He did not, however, provide any additional explanations or names of countries that will receive Japanese military grants.

The OSA “program targets maritime and aerial surveillance, disaster response and other forms of humanitarian assistance, as well as activities related to UN peacekeeping operations.”​​​​​​​

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