Japan will send a high-level delegation to Adelaide for talks on building Australia's next-generation fleet of submarines.
A former commander of the Japanese navy will
head a 40-strong delegation to Australia next month to negotiate roles for local industry in building submarines, should Japan win the contract to provide them.
Admiral Takashi Saito is a veteran submariner who has played a key role in military diplomacy with Japan’s allies in the region and with China.
Australia’s “competitive evaluation process” is pitting Japanese, German, and French submarine builders against each other in a bid to secure a A$50 billion ($38.84 billion) contract to build six to 12 submarines for the Royal Australian Navy
Due to the secrecy surrounding Japanese interactions with the prime minister’s office, Tony Abbott has been accused of concluding a “secret deal” with Japan. Such charges are overblown, but Abbott’s preference for working with Japan – in part because of U.S. enthusiasm for a Australia-Japan venture – is well documented.
Japan's bid to build Australian submarines
is set to advance next month with a high-level Japanese delegation to visit Adelaide, ambassador Sumio Kusaka has revealed.
The ambassador said the possibility of Japanese submarines being built in Australia was one of three options still being considered. The others were to build the boats in Japan or to do some work in each country.
Japan recently agreed on an unprecedented move to hand over secret data to enable Australia to evaluate the class of submarine.