Japan, Australia Talk Closer Military Ties
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Key ministers from Japan and Australia will meet Wednesday to beef up their defense relations, including a possible future submarine deal.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera will play host in Tokyo to Julie Bishop and David Johnston, their respective opposite numbers, for the fifth round of so-called "2+2" talks.
The two US allies are eager to discuss the future transfer of Japanese submarine technology to Australia, with Canberra needing to replace its fleet of stealth subs over the coming years at a reported cost of up to 37 billion US dollars, AFP reported.
The potential deal, which is some way from being finalized, would boost Japan's defense industry, while also further cementing relations both economically and militarily.
At their meeting, the ministers will follow up on a free trade pact and a security deal reached in April between Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.
Abe has argued that Japan must play a bigger role on the global stage and has pushed to loosen restrictions on when its well-equipped armed forces can act.
He has also relaxed a self-imposed ban on weapons exports, paving the way for the possible deal with Australia.