Senior members of the Japanese government are visiting to give the country’s bid to build Australia’s submarines a last-ditch boost.
The Adelaide Advertiser reports that defence minister Gen Nakatani will fly into Adelaide today, visiting ASC this afternoon, and foreign minister Fumio Kishida will arrive on Sunday.
The deadline for bids under the “Competitive Evaluation Process” is November 30, and is a three-cornered contest between the Japanese, German and French contenders.
Japan was believed to be the favoured by former prime minister Tony Abbott. Since he was defeated in a leadership ballot, the contest appears much more open.
Unlike when Abbott was prime minister, every contender has proposed that the submarines would be built in Australia, notes The Diplomat.
A decision from the federal government is tipped for early 2016, but defence minister Marise Payne recently said, “The Government does not intend to be rushed. This is too important a decision for that.”