Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited a new semiconductor factory where the government has pledged more than $7 billion in support to ensure a stable supply of chips.

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday visited a new semiconductor factory where the government has pledged more than 1 trillion yen ($7 billion) in support to ensure a stable supply of chips.

Kishida also expressed sympathy following the Taiwan earthquake that killed at least 12 people.

Forty years ago, Japan dominated the chip sector, with Toshiba and NEC controlling half of global production. Amid competition from Korean, US, European manufacturers and TSMC, that percentage has dropped to less than 10%.

Japan recently spent about 5 trillion yen ($33 billion) to revive its chip industry, aiming to reduce dependence on imports following pandemic-era shortages that affected auto production and other industries for months. ) was accounted for.

Private investment in factories in the Kumamoto region of southwestern Japan totals $20 billion. The second factory he plans to be operational within three years. According to TSMC, the two factories are expected to directly create 3,400 high-tech jobs.

This factory is a bright spot for Mr. Kishida. Kishida's popularity has plummeted due to corruption scandals in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

China claims the autonomous island of Taiwan as its own territory and says it should be under Beijing's control. The long-standing rift has become a flashpoint in U.S.-China relations.

Semiconductors are being sold as the U.S. government has imposed export controls restricting the sale of advanced microchips to Chinese companies due to the possibility that they could be used in military applications such as hypersonic missiles and artificial intelligence. has recently become a strategic battleground in US-China relations.

TSMC is currently building its second factory in the United States and has announced plans to build its first factory in Europe. However, Japan's geographical proximity to Taiwan is an attractive option.

Tokyo is supporting other semiconductor projects across the country, including American companies such as Western Digital and Micron, and Japanese companies such as Renesas Electronics, Canon and Sumitomo.


Yuri Kageyama appears on X: https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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