US-Japan-Australia trilateral gets boost with first submarine exercises – the Diplomat


Asia Defense

Development is important not only in itself, but in the context of broader trilateral cooperation.

Australia took part in submarine exercises for the first time with the United States and Japan last month. This decision was important not only as a development in itself, but in the context of the US-Japan-Australia trilateral cooperation.

As I have noted previously, apart from the broader bilateral, multilateral and minilateral commitments, trilateral cooperation in particular has continued to be the focus of attention in recent years, particularly around the various triangles involving states- United States, Japan, Australia and India (see: “Why is the United States’ ‘new’ trilateral dialogue with Japan and India important”).

Although they are far from the only trilateral agreements that exist, they often receive more attention not only for their own good, but also because they have the potential to add to the formal rebirth of the deceased. United States-Australia-India-Japan. The quadrilateral or “quad” security dialogue that had emerged during the George W. Bush years.

Routine meetings on US-Japan-Australia trilateral cooperation continued under the Trump administration. For example, in August, the three sides met for the Seventh Australia-Japan-U.S. Trilateral Ministerial Security Dialogue in Manila and released a statement that spoke not only of North Korea, but of the broader significance. respect for the rules-based order, including the South. China Sea, counterterrorism and violent extremism, cybersecurity, regional connectivity and importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the occasion of the organization’s 50th anniversary.

From September 12 to 19, in a new phase of trilateral cooperation between the United States, Japan and Australia, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) for the first time participated in a trilateral submarine exercise with the ‘US Navy (USN) and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. (JMSDF).

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The exercise, called the Submarine Competition (SUBCOMP), took place in the waters of southern Japan, with the competition emphasizing each country’s ability to conduct various aspects of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) . This year’s SUBCOMP featured four JMSDF submarines, the Los Angeles-US class attack submarine Key West, and, for the first time, a RAN Collins– HMAS submarine class Unchained.

Commander Dan Sutherland, commanding officer of Dechaineux, said the RAN was excited about its initial participation in the competition and added that he looked forward to future exercises with the JMSDF and the US Navy.

Of course, Australia’s participation in this exercise must be put into perspective. As I noted earlier, it is important not to place too much emphasis on a single development in the context of a larger relationship or a series of relationships even though we recognize gradual progress or occasional setbacks. (see: “Australia’s defense ties with Japan run deeper than a sunken submarine offer”). Yet at the same time, in the broader context of strategic convergence between these three key states, former ones like these deserve special attention.

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