Staff, The Asahi Shimbun
8 May 2015
Japan will disclose specifications of a state-of-the-art submarine to Australia as a step toward the countries possibly becoming partners in developing a new vessel.
If Tokyo and Canberra reach a final deal, it would be the first time for Japan to agree to jointly develop weaponry with high attack capabilities with another country since the Cabinet decided in April 2014 to abolish Japan’s three-decade, self-imposed ban on exporting arms.
Australia plans to introduce a new generation of submarines in the 2030s and is keen on the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Soryu-class vessel. It has asked for technical details regarding the vessel, which was first deployed in 2009 and is one of the world’s largest non-nuclear submarines.
The Australian government has also asked Germany and France to join the list of candidates. Businesses from the two European nations are expected to participate in the project.
Australian Defense Minister Kevin Andrews asked his Japanese counterpart, Gen Nakatani, to participate in the selection process during a telephone conference May 6. Nakatani replied that he would consider it with associated ministries and government agencies.