Japan and Australia sharing the same region gives Japan an important advantage over the French and German competition for the Future Australian submarine sale. The annual "2 + 2" talks between Japan and Australia cement the ongoing defence relationship (see Article below).
The next 2 + 2 talks may next occur in late November 2015. This meeting time may be favourable for Japan, when Japan, Germany and France put in their final bids by the November 30, 2015 deadline.
Japan and Australian have had a friendly high level regional relationship (political, economic, security etc) since 1951.
France has referred to Australia's alliance relations with France in World War One as part of its sales campaign. "It is more than 100 years since the Anzac legend was forged in places like Fromelles and the Somme in France, and today Australia and France remain the strongest of allies,” it says.“Our shared military heritage provides a solid foundation for a new endeavour to further strengthen this time honoured relationship.”
But World War One was a century ago. Australia has had much more recent frosty relations with France over: French nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific from 1966 to 1996. A related incident was France's DGSE spy organisation in 1985 blowing up a peace ship, Rainbow Warrior in the main harbour of Australia's closest ally, New Zealand. Australia's relations with France have been correct rather than warm - perhaps part of the age old Anglos versus France thing. Maybe a high risk arms deal will change all that.
Australia, of course, had a combative relationship with Germany in World Wars One and Two, but things have improved.
JAPAN TIMES ARTICLE