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Press Release | May 12, 2024

U.S., Japan, Korea Coast Guards sign trilateral agreement to increase maritime cooperation

ALAMEDA, Calif – U.S. Coast Guard, Japan Coast Guard and Korea Coast Guard representatives displayed continued commitment to enhance maritime expertise and promote regional cooperation by signing a trilateral letter of intent, Thursday.

This agreement aligns trilateral cooperation between Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States to include capacity-building efforts to Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Pacific Island countries. The letter of intent advances a joint statement between the three nations’ leaders, which was held at Camp David in August 2023.

U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Andrew Tiongson, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, met Japan Coast Guard Vice Adm. Watanabe Yasunori, Japan Coast Guard Vice Commandant for Operations, to finalize a trilateral letter of intent, which was previously signed by Korea Coast Guard Oh Sang Kwon, Deputy Commissioner of the Korea Coast Guard. Oh signed the letter of intent in April with the understanding that the agreement would be finalized upon Watanabe’s May visit to U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area command.

Mr. Hyunchul Kang, Deputy Consul General of the Republic of Korea, attended the trilateral signing on behalf of the Korea coast guard, and Mr. Kishimori Hajime, Deputy Consul General of Japan, presented brief remarks as well.

“This trilateral agreement between U.S., Japan and Korea Coast Guards is the lynchpin that will drive our coast guards to work together to advance maritime safety, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific,” said Tiongson. “It will enhance our multilateral operations with each other, as well as other trusted partners in the region.”

The agreement specifically recognizes the important of efforts to conserve maritime resources, combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and search and rescue response efforts.