Japan offers two patrol ships to Sri Lanka with China in sight


Without mentioning China’s increasing activities in the Indian Ocean and the East and South China seas, Japan and Sri Lanka “reconfirmed the importance of maintaining the freedom of the high seas and maritime order based on the rule of law”, according to a statement issued after their meeting in Nagoya, central Japan.
In a separate meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Abe offered Japan’s cooperation in development of the country, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

Japan is eager to strengthen ties with the two countries amid China’s growing influence in the region under the so-called “string of pearls” strategy, a network of Chinese investment in maritime facilities stretching from the South China Sea to the Arabian Sea as if to encircle India.

New Delhi, similarly, has become concerned about Beijing’s increased presence in the Indian Ocean.