September 14, 2015

Will Japanese bid sink with former Prime Minister Abbott?

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to formally be sworn in as Prime Minister around lunchtime September 15, 2015.

Foreign Minister and Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop (sitting with Turnbull) suggested to Tony Abbott today, to effectivey resign as Prime Minister. Julie Bishop is a centrist like Turnbull.

The very popular Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull formally announcing his challenge against Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Significantly Malcolm Turnbull made no deal with Japanese Prime Minister Abe or with President Obama for Australia to buy Japanese submarines. It was Abbott, Abe and Obama who made the secret deal in 2014.

[Note Robert Gottliebsen’s (Business Spectator Columnist, Melbourne) advice in Australia’s most prominent newspaper The Australian, September 15, 2015: Ten items that need to be on Malcolm Turnbull’s agenda ...“4. Turnbull needs to make it clear that Australia should build the next eight submarines in Adelaide, which means that either the German or French tenders must be accepted. The new prime minister should handle this carefully in order to let the Japanese exit gracefully. Having the Japanese build submarines was a crazy idea hatched in the [Abbott] Prime Minister’s Office.”]

Turnbull might possibly change policy - making for a truly Competitive Evaluation Process for Australia's Future Submarine.

Turnbull, as a former big businessman, might maintain the economic efficiency/cost savings of building the submarines overseas or what is perceived (or presented as) a "hybrid build" (perhaps 25% in Australia (including pressure hull steel) and 75% overseas).

Now that Turnbull has won the leadership the US Government might rapidly ask him/Australia to maintain the secret buy submarine from Japan deal.


Malcolm Turnbull (now sworn in) is Australia's 29th Prime Minister after toppling Tony Abbott 54 votes to 44 in a Liberal leadership ballot at Parliament House in Canberra on September 14, 2015.

Ministerial changes will probably be announced by Monday, September 21, 2015:

-  Kevin Andrews, a conservative Abbott loyalist, probably will not remain Defence Minister.

-  Christopher Pyne may become Defence Minister. He was pro-Abbott but appears to have shifted allegiance to Turnbull. Significantly Pyne is an MP representing an Adelaide electorate.

-  Julie Bishop apparently wishes to remain Foreign Minister.

-  Joe Hockey will not remain Treasurer as he ineffective and an Abbott loyalist.



MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,

that is and has been my fear about a submarine deal with Japan: Abbott and Abe will gone some day and the next Japanese prime minister may act different on foreign weapons deals. That is not the right prospect for a enterprise maybe running over more than half a century.


Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

Yes very true. Because Japan is a new seller and only plans to sell its subs to Australia (so far) the sales negotiations very much depend on Abe, Abbott and Obama keeping their secret agreement.

If highly democratic Japan returns to a centrist or pacifist defence policy Japan may not be willing to maintain a submarine export industry for its one customer - Australia. Japan selling to Canada may be possible, and create greater business stability but Canada seems unenthusiastic about buying for the short-medium term.



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete and

Behavior of the past does not always ensure the future action, but it gives meaningful suggestion. I introduce the cases of defense policy continuity on the two major regime changes in Japan after the World War II.

Case 1: Murayama Cabinet (30/Jun/1994-8/Aug/1995).
This coalition cabinet consisted of 13 LDPs (party of current-PM, Abe), 6 JSPs =Japan Socialist Party (including then-PM, Murayama) and 2 Sakigakes (New Party). JSP traditionally did not admit LDP’s major three policies (constitutionality of Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), Japan-US security treaty, nuclear generation) at all, but PM Murayama manifested that JSP would perfectly change its policy and admit above three policies. It meant JSP selected defense policy continuity of the former LDP government.

Case 2: Hatoyama Cabinet (16/Sept/2009-08/Jun/2010), Democratic Party of Japan =DPJ
Then-PM Hatoyama tried to overturn Japan (former LDP government) -US agreement of “Relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma”. But he could not and, as a result, resigned.

Abbott-Abe submarine technology corporation (not about “secret deal”) is not personal and is the formal matter between the Prime Minister of Australia and the Japanese counterpart. I think Japan as a first class nation like Australia will honor the corporation promise. Japan has little to gain and much (international reputation) to lose by breaking promise.

By the way, Australia’s political changes (Rudd-Gillard-Rudd and (Turnbull)-Abbott-Turnbull) are really amazing, and I think Ms. Bishop is a genius Politian.


MHalblaub said...

Hi Pete,

in my opinion the current and near term future versions of Japanese submarines will not fit with the next Canadian requirement: endurance to stay a long time under the polar ice cap. The only conventional submarine for such a job would be a Type 216 with methanol reformers.

The Canadian Victoria-class is relative young according to hull stress but has problems due do spare parts. In case Germany could not sell spare parts for a Type 214 Turkey or South Korea would do the job...

Canadian Royal Navy is happy today that some submarines are available for the next 5 to 10 years because Canada faces a problem also well known in the Netherland.

It is called: "disarmament by F-35"


Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [September 15, 2015 at 12:31 AM]

Beware of Shortfins with methanol reformer technology. And many Canadians speak French.

Yes, I said "Canada seems unenthusiastic about buying for the short-medium term" as I had in mind Canada has only begun to really utilise their Victoria class subs. The Victoria have also spent much time out of the water since Canada bought them - so their hull life is probably long.

Cannibalising one of the Victorias may supply some spare parts.

Australia also suffers "disarmament by F-35". We are buying 72 F-35s as a mark of homage to the US Government which is apparently owned by LockMart. Oddly enough many of the technical advantages of the F-35 (like the electronics) are being incorporated into the Boeing F-18 Super Hornet (which Australia is using successfully).



Peter Coates said...

Hi S [at September 15, 2015 at 12:00 AM]

Yes the records you show AND continual US pressure on Japan and Australia are likely to mean the Buy Japanese Submarine agreement will be honoured by Japan and Australia.

Of course the public Abe-Abbott agreement is about shared submarine related Defence Research. The agreement made in 2014 that Australia buy Japan's submarine is secret (and Was known as Abbott's "Captain's Pick").

Julie Bishop is indeed an excellent Foreign Minister while Defence Minister Andrews owes/owed his position to his loyalty to Abbott.