Despite of the fact that Australia did not choose Japan to build its submarines, the two countries are deepening their defense relationship, this time with a Royal Australian Navy submarine visiting Japan.
Less than a month ago a visit of a Japanese Soryu-class submarine marked the first time a Japanese submarine entered Australia since World War II.
Returning the favor was the final Collins-class submarine HMAS Rankin, which conducted a port visit to Kobe, Japan from May 6 to 10, 2016. Rankin participated in a bilateral exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
The bilateral training exercise enabled the participating vessels to hone maritime skills such as maneuvering and communications whilst enhancing interoperability at sea.
Over the past few years, the RAN and JMSDF have conducted a number of national visits and participated in Exercises Nichi Gou Trident, Distant Shores and Kakadu. Most recently, Japanese ice-breaker JS Shirase visited Sydney in March 2016.
Before returning to Australia, Rankin is scheduled to participate in Exercise Pacific Reach 16, a triennial submarine rescue exercise.