TOKYO, June 11 Australia and Japan on Wednesday
said they would create a framework pact to cooperate on military
technology, a move that could pave the way for Japan to supply
stealth submarine designs and components to Australia.
The agreement came during talks between Australian Defence
Minister David Johnston, Australian Foreign Minister Julie
Bishop and their Japanese counterparts Itsunori Onodera and
Fumio Kishida in Tokyo.
Johnston told Reuters in an interview earlier on Wednesday
that Australia wanted to bolster ties with Japan in military
technology that could range from a possible submarine deal to
cooperation in maintaining F-35 jet fighters that both counties
are buying from Lockheed Martin Corp.
"We are taking small and determined steps down that path (of
seeking the stealth designs)," Johnston said in the interview.
"We are looking to push the relationship a little further along,
carefully and discreetly, as to how we might better
The dismantling of an arms export ban by Japan in April has
paved the way for the country to pursue a ground-breaking deal
that would help Australia build a fleet of stealth submarines
to extend its surveillance reach deep into the Indian Ocean.
(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Chris Gallagher and