Australian politics, Japan’s lack of experience behind failed bid to build subs

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IN a stunning reversal of fortunes, Japan — the onetime front-runner in the multibillion-dollar tender to build Australia’s next-generation submarine — failed in its bid to assemble the vessels, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Tuesday. Turnbull said the submarines will be built in Australia by France’s state-controlled naval contractor DCNS. “Defense Department experts were unequivocal — the French offer best represented the capabilities needed to meet Australia’s unique needs,” Turnbull said at a news conference. The announcement, which came after media leaks revealed last week that Japan had effectively been eliminated from the bidding process, throws the future of Tokyo’s fledgling weapons-export program in doubt.

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