June 4, 2015

If Soryus Sold to Australia - secrets leaking to China part of business

As ill-feeling in Australia grows due to Japanese unwillingness to share Soryu construction - Japan will need to become used to age-old Australian worries about the Japanese militarists (current or retired officers) returning to power in Japan. Minister Nakatani being a former soldier. Japanese naval officers increasingly vocal.


Selling major weapons systems involves some political and security downsides and distortions. Japan will need to become accustomed to this. The arms business can lead to an odd situation like Stirling AIP engines being sold to China

Captain Toshihide Yamauchi's worries (in the article below) about Australia's ability to safeguard sensitive Japanese intellectual property are well founded:

-  Australia is closer economically to China than it is to Japan

-  Selling Japanese submarine steel composition and welding details to China would be lucrative to a  selling company

-  An Australian change of Government to Labor would bring in some politicians who still prize their socialist comradely relations with China

-  Some Australian companies that would be involved in a submarine enterprise have links to China

-  Australia cannot ban ethnic Chinese-Australians from working in the submarine commercial or related government defence sector

-  A previous Minister judged to be too close to Chinese interests was removed years ago


"Australian senator slams Japan over submarine capability comments


An influential Australian senator on Thursday hit out at Japanese defence officials over comments that Australia was incapable of building a version of a high-tech Japanese-designed submarine at home.

Germany's ThyssenKrupp and France's state-controlled naval contractor DCNS separately are competing with a Japanese government-led bid for Australia's A$50 billion ($38.84 billion) next generation submarine project.

Japan, which had been the front-runner in the planned sale of about 12 vessels to replace Australia's ageing Collins class submarines, is under pressure to build at least some of the boats in South Australia.

But on Wednesday, the former commander of the Japanese submarine fleet, Masao Kobayashi, cast doubt on Australia's ability to build them.

"They don't have enough skilled workers to fashion the high-tension steel; it's even hard to do in Japan," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Another Japanese submarine captain, Toshihide Yamauchi, raised concern to the ABC about Australia's ability to safeguard sensitive Japanese intellectual property.

"We're worried about leaks to China once our technology is in Australia," he said.

Independent South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon hit back over the comments, calling them a "disgrace".

"It's widely known that both the German and French teams are ready, willing and able to build state-of-the-art, ultra-reliable submarines on Australian soil," Xenophon said.

"The Japanese appear to be trying to find excuses to have $50 billion worth of Australian taxpayers' money spent largely entirely in Japan."

A deal to supply a variant of Japan's 4,000 tonne Soryu-class submarine would give Japan its first major overseas deals after Abe eased curbs on arms exports last year that had isolated defence contractors for seven decades.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is eager to deepen security ties with Japan, reflecting a U.S. desire for its two allies to take a bigger security role in Asia as China's military might grows.
Eager for that deeper cooperation, the United States is backing the Japanese-built submarine packed with American surveillance, radar and weapons equipment, sources familiar with Washington's thinking have told Reuters.

But Abbott is facing intense domestic political pressure to secure the thousands of manufacturing jobs that the build would bring, and Japan had previously seemed willing to compromise over where the submarines would be built.

Xenophon said the comments showed that Japan was not ready to take part in the biggest defence procurement project in Australian history.

"The Japanese have not exported submarines before and these comments show that they are simply out of their depth," he said. ($1 = 1.2875 Australian dollars) (Editing by Robert Birsel)"


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