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.
"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.