Aus­tralia cau­tioned over Ja­pan subs

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By WANG XU in Bei­jing wangxu@chi­

China urged Aus­tralia on Wed­nes­day to be cau­tious over de­fense co­op­er­a­tion with Ja­pan and to take the feel­ings of Asian coun­tries into ac­count when con­sid­er­ing the pur­chase of Ja­panese sub­marines.

For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi made the re­marks to re­porters dur­ing a joint briefing with vis­it­ing Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop in Bei­jing.

“We hope that in mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion with Ja­pan, Aus­tralia will take into full ac­count the his­tor­i­cal con­text and also take into con­sid­er­a­tion the feel­ings of Asian coun­tries be­cause of that his­tory,” Wang said.

“Ja­pan was de­feated dur­ing World War II, and that is why for decades it has been asked to fol­low very strict con­straints un­der its paci­fist Con­sti­tu­tion and do­mes­tic laws in terms of ex­port­ing weapons to other coun­tries and co­op­er­a­tion in this re­gard,” Wang said.

“We hope that Aus­tralia will take con­crete ac­tion to sup­port the peace­ful de­vel­op­ment of Ja­pan and Ja­pan’s ef­forts to up­hold its paci­fist Con­sti­tu­tion, and not the op­po­site,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, Aus­tralia is now se­lect­ing from three bids by Ja­pan, Ger­many and France for a new fleet of sub­marines to re­place its Collins- Class ves­sels.

Ja­panese broad­caster NHK re­ported that be­fore vis­it­ing China, Bishop trav­eled to Tokyo, where she was of­fered a $50 bil­lion con­tract by her Ja­panese coun­ter­part Fu­mio Kishida to buy his coun­try’s So­ryu sub­marines, as well as de­fense tech­nol­ogy trans­fer.

In the Chi­nese cap­i­tal, Bishop said Can­berra is en­hanc­ing mil­i­tary ties with Bei­jing by car­ry­ing out more ex­er­cises and in­creas­ing de­fense co­op­er­a­tion.

She said a com­pre­hen­sive eval­u­a­tion is un­der­way re­gard­ing any fi­nal de­ci­sion on the sub­marines.

“It is ap­par­ent that Aus­tralia is en­hanc­ing its strate­gic re­la­tion­ship with a num­ber of coun­tries in our re­gion, in­clud­ing China,” Bishop said.

She added, “Our in­ter­ests are in at­tain­ing a new sub­ma­rine fleet that meets our ca­pa­bil­ity and tech­no­log­i­cal re­quire­ments in terms of range and ca­pac­ity.”

Luo Yuan, a re­searcher at the China Academy of Mil­i­tary Sci­ences, said Ja­pan is us­ing the sub­marines pur­chase to ease re­straints im­posed af­ter World War II, and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity should pay at­ten­tion to this.

“Ja­pan did not re­flect on its wartime his­tory thor­oughly and even air­brushes it,” Luo said. “Ex­port­ing weapons at this time will be a sub­stan­tial move to re­move its shack­les from the war and a fur­ther step to amend its paci­fist Con­sti­tu­tion.”


For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi meets with vis­it­ing Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop on Wed­nes­day in Bei­jing.

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