The Ministry of Police and Prisons will have two boats to assist with its operations including the monitoring of Samoa’s Exclusive Economic Zones if all goes accordingly.
“The Ministry is working with the Government of Japan as they offered a boat. This is in addition to the boat the Australian Government will provide later this year,” said the newly appointed Police Commissioner, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo in response to questions from Radio Polynesia.
He said the Japanese Government offered to purchase a Patrol Boat, for the Ministry of Police and Prisons to the tune of $18 million tala.
The assistance by the Japanese Government was offered after $30 million Nafanua II was badly damaged and is beyond repair and was disposed of by the Australian government.
That Guardian class patrol boat, which was gifted by Australia two years ago, was damaged in a grounding last August in Savaii.
Last month, Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Penny Wong announced its support for Samoa’s management of its precious oceans through the provision of a new Guardian Class Patrol Boat.
Auapa’au said the boat from Japan is smaller than the boat from Australia.
“The boat from Japan is much smaller than the boat from Australia. And we plan to use the boat from Japan for coastal surveillance and monitoring of Samoa’s EEZ as well as search and rescue missions.
“While the boat from Australia will be for other duties such as medivac and disaster response,” said Aupa’au.