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No Japanese warships at Cam Ranh Bay Naval Base, says Vietnam

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

11-13-2015 17:02 BJT

By Ling Dequan, Researcher, Center for World Affairs Studies, Xinhua News Agency

After Japanese Defense Minister Nakatani Shimoto visited Vietnam on Nov. 4-7, news spread on the internet that "warships of the Japanese maritime self-defense forces are allowed to dock in the Cam Ranh Bay naval base, Vietnam."

 

However, on Nov. 10, the military attaché's office of Vietnam's embassy to China said the news was "inaccurate" and "it was the international harbor part of Cam Ranh Bay, not its naval base, that was visited by Nakatani." Many media reports cited from the Tokyo-based Kyodo News Agency.

On Nov. 5 and 6, Kyodo had published articles saying, " Nakatani inspects Cam Ranh Bay Naval Base," "Vietnam permits Japanese maritime self-defense force to dock at Cam Ranh Bay," and on the Nov. 7, the news agency wrote, "Japanese warships allowed to stop at Vietnam's military base with sword out to interfere in the South China Sea situation".

On account of the Japanese media, the international community had raised alarm bells. Located in the province of Khanh Hoa, Cam Ranh Bay is a deep-water bay where aircraft carriers can berth. France invaded Vietnam in the 19th century and started to build a military base there.

During the Vietnam War, the United States attempted to expand the naval base and Da Nang Air Base as well, but its forces retreated and surrendered in April 1975.

When Vietnam and the former Soviet Union became allies in 1978, the Cam Ranh Bay Naval Base was one of Moscow's most prominent overseas military sites. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia stopped using the Cam Ranh Bay military base in 2002.

In recent years, warships from many countries have visited Cam Ranh Bay. Reportedly, American vessels have docked there for maintenance purposes many times. Yet, Cam Ranh Bay Naval Base has remained closed to the outside world.

However, Vietnam is building an international harbor there, and it’s not located near the naval base. According to an email from the military attaché's office, the International Harbor is under construction to be completed in early 2016.

All civil and military ships can stay in the harbor for maintenance and rear services based on Vietnam's law and international conventions.

The email reiterated, "Vietnam has never agreed to allow foreign military ships to use Cam Ranh Bay Naval Base." Nonetheless, Kyodo reported on Nov. 6, predicting Hanoi and Tokyo "will confirm the maritime joint training."

Vietnam's military attaché's office clarified that the so-called joint military exercise announcement was not accurate and "Vietnamese and Japanese defense ministers agreed to conduct research and perform rescue exercises to prepare for natural disasters and marine perils with civil purposes."

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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