Japan firms to be a surprise no-show at Australian submarine event

March 22, 2015 9:03 PM

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Two Japanese firms that until recently were the frontrunners to win a multi-billion dollar contract to build Australia's new submarines have rebuffed an invitation to attend a gathering of top Australian naval officials and politicians this week.

The no-show by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries at an event called Australia's Future Submarine Summit, held amid intensifying competition for the deal, exposes a potential weak link in Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's more muscular security agenda: Japan Inc.

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