TOKYO (AP) – Japan and Australia are set to move ahead with plans to jointly develop stealth submarine technology, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants his country to play a more assertive military role abroad.

The submarine research is a top item at Wednesday’s “2+2″ talks in Tokyo. The two sides are set to agree to launch a joint study on the technology. Officials say a deal on Japan’s sale of submarine or other military technology is not expected from the talks.

Abe is pushing to allow Japan to play a more assertive international military role. His government eased Japan’s self-imposed limits on military exports in April, paving the way for Japan’s defense industry to go global.