Susmita Pathak Mishra, International Business Times
27 August 2015
Japan delegation with a bid to build Australia’s next submarines has denied it is involved in rumoured secret dealings with the Australian federal government to win the contract.
Masaki Ishikawa, one of the representatives of Japan’s defence ministry, said during a press conference in Adelaide on Wednesday that such speculations did not come from Japan, and that they should not be blamed for it.
The Japanese delegation also said the federal government has already warned the bidders, which include France and Germany, about the “competitive evaluation process.” The final submission with all details will be submitted by the end of November 2015.
However, the delegation from Japan remained tight-lipped when asked about where they would prefer building the new fleet of Australian submarines if their contract is successful. Instead, representatives indicated that they planned on presenting three options, including building in Australia, in Japan and in both countries.
“At this moment we have not yet determined which is good and which is bad,” the head of the delegation, Admiral Takashi Saito said to the media.
Representatives of the bid said that if successful, the deal would strengthen the strong defence bond between both countries. It is the first time Japan is sharing its advanced and sensitive technology with another country.
In February 2015, Prime Minister Tony Abbott had denied any agreement was made on the submarine deal with Japan regarding replacement of old submarines with Japanese Soryu-class vessels. Today’s delegation in Adelaide introduced 200 representatives outlining the Soryu class submarines.
Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith of South Australia specified that the government is clear about building submarines in Australia, especially in Adelaide. He also mentioned that approximately $50 billion will be spent on building and maintaining the next fleet of Australian submarines.