In a strategic move to reestablish its dominance in the semiconductor sector, the Japanese government has unveiled plans to allocate approximately 2 trillion yen (about $13 billion) to support the nation’s chip industry. This initiative aims to propel Japan back into the forefront of chip manufacturing, leveraging its expertise in chipmaking tools and materials, Reuters news report said.
Over recent decades, Japan has witnessed a decline in its chip manufacturing capabilities, losing ground to competitors in the global market. To counter this trend, the government is now offering subsidies to chipmakers to enhance their capacity and regain a competitive edge.
The allocated funds, set to be specified through a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year, are anticipated to play a crucial role in supporting key players in the industry. Notably, Taiwanese chip giant TSMC and the chip foundry venture Rapidus, focused on manufacturing cutting-edge chips in Hokkaido, are expected to benefit from the financial injection.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s commitment to the semiconductor industry is reflected in the 13.1 trillion yen spending promised in the 2023/24 extra budget, approved by his government on Friday. This budget signifies a significant push to stimulate economic growth and technological advancement through strategic investments.
However, concerns have arisen regarding the funding mechanism, as Japan plans to issue close to 9 trillion yen (approximately $59.8 billion) in bonds to finance the ambitious spending. The move has prompted discussions about the potential impact on Japan’s national debt, raising questions about the sustainability of such financial measures.
Japan’s renewed focus on the chip industry aligns with global trends highlighting the increasing importance of semiconductor technology in various sectors, from consumer electronics to automotive and beyond. As Japan strives to regain its past glory in chip manufacturing, the success of these initiatives will likely have a ripple effect on the nation’s economic resurgence and technological prowess in the coming years.