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Japan, Australia to hold security talks, submarine tech on agenda

June 2, 2014

Japan and Australia plan to hold security talks involving their foreign and defense ministers next week in Tokyo, and are expected to agree to accelerate negotiations over the transfer of Japanese submarine technology, government sources said Monday.

The upcoming "two-plus-two" security meeting on June 11 will be the first such gathering since September 2012 between Japan and Australia.

From Japan, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera will join the talks, while Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defense Minister David Johnston will head the Australian delegation.

Japan and Australia need to sign a pact concerning defense equipment and technological cooperation to enable Tokyo to transfer its submarine building technology.

In the talks, the two countries are likely to confirm that they will step up working level talks toward signing the pact.

Australia is seeking assistance from Japan which has advanced technology in building and operating submarines. Tokyo will consider sending engineers to Australia as part of support, the sources said.

On regional security, Japan and Australia are likely to reiterate their opposition to any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force, bearing in mind China's actions in the region, the sources said.

The Japanese side is also expected to brief the Australian participants about the recent agreement with North Korea on reinvestigating the abduction of Japanese nationals in the past and Tokyo's efforts to resolve the issue, the sources added.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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