Minister dismisses Japan angst over subs

Minister dismisses Japan angst over subs

Defence Minister Marise Payne has played down any lingering disappointment the Japanese have over missing out on a multi-billion dollar contract to build Australia's new fleet of submarines.

French shipbuilder DCNS won the contract to design 12 new submarines, which will be constructed in Adelaide, over bids from Japan and Germany following a hotly-contested evaluation process.

Senator Payne and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop are in Tokyo for meetings with their Japanese counterparts.

Senator Payne said the two countries were focused on future opportunities for defence co-operation.

"We are more than capable of moving on," she told reporters on Thursday.

The evaluation process emerged from a backlash of South Australian Liberal MPs when it appeared then prime minister Tony Abbott had done a deal to acquire new subs direct from Japan with limited Australian industry involvement.