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Japan, Australia may discuss submarine technology cooperation

Japan and Australia could begin talks on submarine technology transfer.

By
Richard Tomkins
The Japanese submarine Hakuryu during visit to Guam. (U.S. Navy photo/Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Jeffrey Jay Price)
The Japanese submarine Hakuryu during visit to Guam. (U.S. Navy photo/Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Jeffrey Jay Price)

TOKYO, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Japan and Australia are expected to begin talks on Australia obtaining submarine technology and a Soryu-class submarine.

The Yomiuri Shimbun, quoting unidentified sources, reported the go-ahead to begin technology transfer discussions and joint development of submarines could be made at a meeting between Defense Minister Akinori Eto and Australian Defense Minister David Johnston, who is expected to visit Tokyo later this month.

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"With an eye on China's maritime expansion into the Asia-Pacific region, the government aims to step up security cooperation with Australia through the provision of advanced submarine technology," sources were quoted as saying.

The Soryu-class submarine Australia may be interested in acquiring is a diesel-electric vessel that displaces about 3,000 tons. It has a submerged speed of 20 knots and a surface speed of 13 knots. Its range is 6,100 nautical miles.

Five of the vessels have been built for Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation since 2009.

A concern for Japan in exporting its submarine technology is systems information being obtained by third parties, the newspaper reported.

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