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>> Philippines coast guard just got some teeth. The BRP Tubbataha, a brand new 44 meter or 144 foot long ship. It's the first of ten Japan is sending it's way, part of a nearly $190 million loan deal to help Manila make its water safe as tensions rise in the South China Sea.
>> Right now it's not armed, but it could be fitted with small machine guns. It's main mission is search and rescue, environmental protection, and humanitarian. But we could also use it for security operations. Philippine fisherman have tangled with China's coast guard in disputed waters. New president Rodrigo Duterte is trying to set up talks with Beijing to ease tensions.
But as Reuter's Manny Mogato explains, he's also beefing up security.>> The Phillipine coast guard and their is doing some changes. They're recruiting 6,000 more Coast Guard personnel to beef up their ranks. They're acquiring ships and aircraft from the US, again, to enhance their forbearance and law enforcement capabilities.
Because the Philippines has a vast maritime borders, larger than the US, so we need more ships, we need more planes, and we need more men to enforce out maritime laws.>> So we is Japan offering Manila the helping hand? Tokyo doesn't have any claims in the South China Sea, but it does have its own dispute with Beijing over a group of small islands in the East China Sea.
Japan says Chinese ship have been showing up there a lot lately, ringing alarm bells in Tokyo. Nervously watching as tensions creep closer to it's doorstep.