Piracy and Armed Robbery in Asia; Japan, Singapore, ReCAAP to Join Forces

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA Japan) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), together with the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC), have agreed to jointly combat piracy in Asia.

The parties launched the inaugural Capacity Building Executive Program on combating piracy and armed robbery against ships in Singapore on September 27.

Targeted at senior-level personnel with 10 to 15 years of experience and above in maritime enforcement, the program will see ReCAAP Contracting Parties from ASEAN, which includes Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, together with representatives from Indonesia and Malaysia as dialogue partners, participate in a 10-day training held both in Singapore and Japan from September 27 to October 6, 2017.

“The Program aims for enhancing maritime law enforcement capabilities of ASEAN countries in the area of counter-piracy efforts and we believe it is a very timely initiative considering the fact that increasing transnational criminal activities including abduction in the Sulu-Celebes Sea pose a threat to the ASEAN,” said Ambassador Toshiro Iijima, Deputy Assistant Minister, Foreign Policy Bureau, MOFA Japan and Japanese Governor to the ReCAAP ISC Governing Council.

Designed to build capacity, enhance information sharing and strengthen cooperation among the ASEAN enforcement authorities, the Capacity Building Executive Program will cover topics, including trends and developments in maritime crimes against ships in Asia; best practices of information sharing; and best practices in the law enforcement and prosecution against maritime crimes.

Armed Pirates

Additional topics are international laws and regulations related to piracy and armed robbery against ships, as well as emerging maritime threats such as cybersecurity, maritime terrorism, etc.

“Incidences of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia have been on the decline in recent years. Much of this is the result of enhanced information sharing and more effective enforcement by the coastal states,” said Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC.

“Through the Capacity Building Executive Program, we want to build on this momentum to enhance capability, augment information sharing and strengthen regional cooperation as we collectively work towards making seas in Asia safer and more secure for all,” Kuroki added.