Cooperating to Ensure the Safety of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore

Cooperating to Ensure the Safety of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore
15 December 2023 -

The Straits of Malacca and Singapore are a vital shipping lane linking Asia with Europe and the Middle East. The narrow straits with their predominantly shallow waters constitute a treacherous choke point for passing vessels. Japan has been cooperating with the three littoral States of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore since the 1960s to enhance the safety of navigation, including conducting joint hydrographic surveys.

In response to a request for the third joint hydrographic survey, the littoral States and Japan targeted five specific areas within the Straits of Malacca and Singapore that required particularly urgent action. In Phase I of the survey, which ran from 2015 to 2016, financial cooperation and the dispatch of engineers were provided through the Japanese Shipowners’ Association, the Japan Hydrographic Association, and the Malacca Strait Council (MSC) of Japan.

In Phase II, which began conducting its survey in 2018 and covered a larger sea area, approximately 1 billion yen was budgeted by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), established to support integration among ASEAN nations. The MSC oversaw coordination and managed the progress while the private firm Aero Asahi Corporation conducted the survey.

With the survey of the whole area completed, the electronic chart was finally updated in July 2023. Not only will the completion of highly accurate electronic charts promote maritime cooperation among ASEAN Member States, but it will also greatly improve connectivity. Japan will continue its efforts to collaborate with relevant authorities to improve the safety of maritime navigation.