The Japanese government has decided to offer yen loans to Vietnam for its domestic satellite programme.

Under the decision, Japan will loan Vietnam about 50 billion JPY, or 660 million USD, as official development assistance (ODA), the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) reported, adding that Japanese firms will be able to participate in the project as part of the agreement.

The two governments will likely finalize the deal at the end of this month.

According to the NHK, Japan has not provided yen loans for satellite projects so far because of concerns that its technology would be diverted to military use. However, the Government has decided to support Vietnam's project because the aim of the satellite is disaster-prevention, including flood forecasting. Mapping the country is another aim.

The Japanese Government hopes to support Japan's satellite industry as long as the technology is not used for military purposes.

Vietnam plans to launch two earth-observation satellites after 2017./.