Big semiconductor makers team up with Japan to strengthen global chip supply chain

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, center, and Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, center right, pose with the heads of global chip companies, from left, Samsung’s Kyung Kye Hyun, Patrick Intel’s Gelsinger, TSMC’s Mark Liu, Micron’s Sanjay Mehrotra and AMAT’s Prabu Raja, Thursday, May 18, 2023, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo, Japan. (Kyodo News via AP)

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stressed that international investment and exchanges to strengthen the computer chip supply chain are welcome.. This was announced on Thursday when he met with the leaders of the main manufacturers of computer chips.

A recent chip shortage was a sore spot for Japan’s manufacturing powerhouses like Toyota Motor Corp.., when social restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic reduced supplies, serving as a wake-up call that robust access to production must be ensured.

Computer chips are used in vehicles, mobile phones, and a variety of other products, and lNext-generation chips will be crucial for artificial intelligence, automated driving systems, and other advanced technologies.

Japan is eager to strengthen its domestic chip production and remain a technology leader. Analysts say the uncertain future of relations between Washington and Beijing could also put supplies at risk.

Intel Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu and Kye Hyun Kyung, a senior executive at Samsung Electronics, were among the executives who met at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, the economy and trade minister, who was also at the meeting, said many of the executives responded positively to Japan’s request.

A worker at a Renesas Semiconductor Co. factory in Beijing, China, May 14, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
A worker at a Renesas Semiconductor Co. factory in Beijing, China, May 14, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter (Thomas Peter/)

The meeting focused on exchanging views on the policies needed to attract more investment, personnel and financing to Japan to strengthen the critical chip sector, according to the Japanese government.

The Government of Japan plans to take this seriously into consideration and offer cooperative assistance to fully address this issue.”Nishimura told reporters after the meeting.

Other chipmakers represented at the meeting included Micron Technology CEO Sanjay Mehrotra and IBM Senior Vice President Dario Gil.

The officials were on their way to the Group of Seven nations meeting in Hiroshima.

Strengthening the chip supply chain is expected to be one of the topics discussed at the summit attended by President Joe Biden and the leaders of Germany, Italy and other major industrial nations.

I plan to lead the discussion aimed at addressing the stabilization of the supply network and emphasizing the importance of international cooperation.Kishida told reporters before leaving for Hiroshima.

The Japanese government has already announced financing for the TSMC and Micron plants in Japan. It’s also giving money to a national startup called Rapidus, which means “fast” in Latin, to develop next-generation, or “post-5G” semiconductors.

“Investing in secure supply chains and a strategic partnership for your economic and national security is the key cornerstone in confronting economic coercion,” he said. rahm emmanuelUS ambassador to Japan, to Financial Times.

Participants in Rapidus include automaker Toyota Motor Corp., electronics makers Sony Group Corp. and NEC Corp., along with SoftBank Corp., Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., Denso Corp. and Kioxia.

US chipmaker Micron Technology aims to become the first semiconductor company to introduce EUV technology for production in Japan. With the support of the Japanese government, it is planning a significant investment in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology.

(With information from AP)

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