defence connect logo



Former ambassador advocates Japan to build RAN’s general purpose frigates

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Mogami Class frigate JS Noshiro (FFM 3) breaks away from formation with the US Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), in the Philippine Sea, 4 October 2023. Photo: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Caroline H. Lui

The former Japanese ambassador to Australia, Yamagami Shingo, has advocated for his country’s defence industry to build the Royal Australian Navy’s next general purpose frigates.

The former Japanese ambassador to Australia, Yamagami Shingo, has advocated for his country’s defence industry to build the Royal Australian Navy’s next general purpose frigates.

Earlier this year, the Australian federal government announced the intended acquisition of 11 new general purpose frigates to complement the country’s combat-ready fleet of warships.

The ships are expected to provide maritime and land strike, air defence and escort capabilities, according to information released by the government in a statement on 20 February. In addition, the first three ships have been planned to be constructed offshore, while eight new general purpose frigates are planned to be built at the Henderson precinct in Western Australia.


The new general purpose frigates will be accelerated to replace the Anzac Class frigates commissioned in the 1990s and early 2000s and are expected to enter service with the Royal Australian Navy by the end of the decade.

The four platforms identified as exemplars to form the basis of a selection process for the new general purpose frigate include Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems’ Meko A-200 frigate, the Mogami 30FFM Japanese multi-mission stealth frigate, the South Korean Daegu Class FFX Batch II and III, or Navantia’s ALFA3000 (Tasman Class Corvette, announced at IndoPac 2023).

Ambassador Yamagami said the construction of Japanese frigates for the RAN would be mutually beneficial for both countries.

“Will Australia’s next frigates come from Japan? (The) time is ripe to put (the) bitter experiences of submarines behind us. It will make a big push to solidify Japanese–Australian defence and security cooperation. (And) also conducive to Pillar 2 cooperation of AUKUS.”

Last year, ambassador Yamagami was recalled as ambassador of Japan to Australia, he held the title from December 2020, and was replaced by current ambassador of Japan to Australia, Suzuki Kazuhiro.
Suzuki had previously acted as Japan’s ambassador to Turkey since October 2020 and was Japan’s ambassador to Ethiopia from 2013 to 2016.

The new general purpose frigates will be modern, capable and more lethal, requiring smaller crews than the Anzac Class (177 crew members), according to a previous statement from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles.

“The enhanced lethality surface combatant fleet will ensure the Navy is optimised for operations in our current and future environment, underpinned by the meticulous assessment conducted by the independent analysis team,” he said earlier this year.

“Australia’s modern society and economy rely on access to the high seas: trade routes for our imports and exports and the submarine cables for the data which enables our connection to the international economy.

“The Royal Australian Navy must be able to ensure the safety and security of our sea lines of communication and trade routes as they are fundamental to our way of life and our prosperity.”

Japanese media have also speculated that the country is reportedly planning to participate in Australia’s replacement program for the Anzac Class frigate.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member for free today!