Japan’s leader encourages computer chip supply chain investment and exchanges 2023

As he conferred with the top chipmakers on Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida emphasized that investments and international exchanges to strengthen the computer chip supply chain were welcome.

A recent shortage of processors was a sensitive spot for Japan’s manufacturing titans like Toyota Motor Corp., as social restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic constrained supplies, serving as a wake-up call that reliable access to production must be guaranteed.

processors are utilized in automobiles, mobile phones, and a variety of other products, and processors of the next generation will be essential for artificial intelligence, automated driving systems, and other advanced technologies.

Japan is anxious to increase domestic semiconductor production and maintain its technological leadership. According to analysts, the uncertain future of U.S.-China relations could also place Chinese supplies at risk.

Pat Gelsinger, Mark Liu, and Kye Hyun Kyung, a senior executive at Samsung Electronics, were among the executives convening at the official residence of the prime minister in Tokyo.

The economy and trade minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, who was also present at the meeting, reported that a majority of the executives responded favorably to Japan’s request.

According to the Japanese government, the meeting centered on an exchange of opinions on the policies required to attract more investment, personnel, and funding to Japan in order to strengthen the vital semiconductor industry.

Nishimura told reporters following the meeting, “The Japanese government intends to give this issue serious consideration and offer collaborative assistance to fully address it.”

Micron Technology’s Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Mehrotra and IBM’s Senior Vice President Daro Gil were among the other semiconductor manufacturers in attendance.

The officials were en route to the Group of Seven Nations meeting in Hiroshima.

At the summit that will be attended by President Joe Biden, the leaders of Germany, Italy, and other major industrial nations, one of the anticipated topics will be the fortification of the semiconductor supply chain.

Before departing for Hiroshima, Kishida told reporters, “I intend to lead the discussion intended to address the stabilization of the supply network and emphasize the importance of international cooperation.”

The Japanese government has already announced support for TSMC and Micron’s manufacturing facilities in Japan. It is also funding the development of next-generation, or “post-5G,” semiconductors by a new domestic company called Rapidus, which means “quick” in Latin.

Participating in Rapidus are Toyota Motor Corporation, Sony Group Corporation, and NEC Corporation, as well as SoftBank Corporation, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, Denso Corporation, and Kioxia.

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