TOKYO – Japan says it is preparing to make a bid Monday on joint development and production of an Australian submarine, Tokyo's first major military transfer since the World War II.
Japanese defense officials said the National Security Council approved the transfer of sensitive submarine technology to Australia and the proposal will be submitted to the Australian government by Monday's deadline.
Australia is due to pick from three bidders including Germany and France by the end of 2016.
Defense officials said military partnership between Japan and Australia will enhance peace and stability, especially maritime security, in the Asia-Pacific region amid China's military buildup in the East and South China seas.
Officials refused to give details, but Japanese media speculate that the proposals feature the Soryu-class diesel-powered propulsion system with advanced stealth capabilities.