Japanese Submarines – Australia’s question of values

What Australia should do with Japanese submarines, is what Australians have always done.

Japan-built Soryu class submarines

Prior to Australia’s 2013 national election, the Liberal Party’s then Shadow Defence Minister David Johnston said:

“We will deliver those submarines from right here at ASC in South Australia. The Coalition today is committed to building 12 new submarines here in Adelaide.”

[David Johnston Press Conference – 8 May 2013]

Johnson reaffirmed his commitment in February this year:

“At the moment we have two options on the table – the son of Collins, and a wholly new bespoke design. Now I have seen nothing at this point in time to suggest that we should deviate from that plan.”

[David Johnston Press Conference – 3 Feb 2014]

Post election, the Liberal Party under Prime Minister Tony Abbott is currently considering making our Royal Australian Navy dependent on foreign Japanese submarines.  Abbott is set to place the first order for ten fully-imported Soryu Class Jap subs costing $20 billion.

Broken promises are broken values.

Just two generations after Japanese submarines attacked Sydney Harbour, our next generation of Australian submariners seems set to be put to sea in boats made in Japan.  What a disgrace and ignoble gesture to Australian submariners before them and to the many service men and women who died at the hands of the Japs in World War II.

For an Australian to join our Navy is to serve Australia with pride:

“Honour reflects our moral and ethical standards. It demands strength of will and inspires physical effort and selfless service. Honour guides our actions in a way explicit rules cannot; it shapes our conscience and determines our notions of pride, self-respect
and shame.” 

[Australian Navy Values]

If Abbott’s Betrayal Sale goes ahead, it will mean scrapping Australia’s entire independent submarine building capacity at Osborne SA and the loss of thousands of direct and indirect jobs.  It is just like how the Australian automotive industry has been scuttled for romantic notions of ‘Free Trade’ and for Budget short-term cost savings.

The Liberal Party is bedazzled by the export sizzle of Free Trade Agreements, ignoring the import dumping killing Australian industry.

Abbott’s buck saving ignores thousands of Australian highly skilled marine engineers at Australian Submarine Corporation. Abbott’s buck saving ignores the strategic long-term needs of Australia’s Defence capability as an island nation.  Navy officers and defence experts have insisted that Australia’s unique geography and strategic circumstances mean that a large fleet of long-range submarines is essential to meeting the challenges of a rapidly modernising region.

The Japanese Soryu submarine has a range of just 11,000 km at 12 km/hr compared with the Collins Class having double that at 22,000 km at 19 km/hr.   The design failings and cost issues of the Collins Class are known, so sort ’em!  Indeed, new designs are on the table.  But dummy spitting on another homegrown industry is Rudd-esk.

Just a year ago, as then Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, issued another short-term brain snap in August 2013.  He flagged moving Australia’s Naval Fleet Base from Sydney Harbour to the flooding Brisbane River, which was to cost us $6 billion, or the equivalent cost of two new Collins Class submarines.

Is this to be Abbott’s electoral legacy?  “There will be no Japanese Submarines under a government I lead..”

HMAS Farncomb
HMAS Farncomb docked in Hobart for Remembrance Day 11-11-2013


But then as Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, in his address to the Australian Parliament on July 8, 2014 attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, cited the bravery of Japanese submariners killed in the 1942 raid on Sydney Harbour.

Abbott:  “We admired the skill and the sense of honour that they brought to their task although we disagreed with what they did. Perhaps we grasped, even then, that with a change of heart the fiercest of opponents could be the best of friends.”

Speak for yourself Abbott.  Your values are not those of most Australians.

The bastards were set to invade Australia. The Japanese military during World War II were mass murderers, rapists and torturers, as base as the Islamic extremists ISIS.

Next we’ll see Japs showing Aussies how to operate Jap subs.

Australian sailors make our Navy proud, and make Australia proud.  What Australian would want to serve on a Japanese sub under the flag of the rising sun?

Japanese Submarine