Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with the women in his Ministry. Defence Minister Marise Payne (front row, left), Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (front row, between Turnbull and Kelly O'Dwyer's baby :) (Photo courtesy Reuters)
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
"S" drew my attention to the following issue.
The Japan Times, October 26, 2015, reports http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/10/26/national/politics-diplomacy/japan-australia-planning-two-plus-two-ministers-meeting-late-november/#.VjWVP7crIgt [Pete has added two hyper links]
From Official Brief http://dfat.gov.au/geo/japan/Pages/japan-country-brief.aspx
Political and security relationship
Australia and Japan have a strong and broad-ranging security partnership. Australia and Japan have taken practical steps to address regional and global strategic challenges of mutual concern. The United States is both Australia's and Japan's most important strategic ally, and the three countries progress cooperation on strategic issues through the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue mechanism. A trilateral leaders’ meeting was held in the margins of the Brisbane G20 Summit in November 2014. Australia and Japan consult regularly on regional security issues, such as North Korea's nuclear activities. The growing Australia-Japan defence relationship includes regular bilateral and trilateral exercises with the United States.
The 2007 Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation (JDSC) provides a foundation for wide-ranging cooperation on security issues between Australia and Japan, including in law enforcement; border security; counter-terrorism; disarmament and counter-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; maritime and aviation security; peace operations and humanitarian relief operations (the two countries have worked closely together in Iraq, East Timor, Pakistan and elsewhere).
The JDSC also established the regular '2+2' talks between foreign and defence ministers. At the fifth 2+2 talks in Tokyo on 11 June 2014, Ministers agreed on recommendations to enhance security and defence cooperation, including the conclusion of negotiations on a defence technology and equipment agreement. Prime Minister Abbott and Prime Minister Abe endorsed these recommendations during Prime Minister Abe’s July 2014 visit to Australia. Previous outcomes of the 2+2 process include an Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreementon defence logistics cooperation, which entered into force on 31 January 2013, and an Information Security Agreement on the sharing of classified information, which entered into force in March 2013.
Australian Prime Minister Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Abe held summit meetings in Tokyo on 7 April 2014 and in Canberra on 8 July 2014. The two leaders decided to elevate the security and defence relationship to a ‘Special Strategic Partnership’. The two leaders also decided to establish a bilateral cyber-policy dialogue to address common cyber threats and discuss ways to strengthen regional and international cooperation…more."