The Japanese industry ministry has set an ambitious target of trebling sales of domestically produced semiconductors to JPY 15tn ($138bn) by 2030, in an attempt to boost its economy and increase its domestic production of microchips following global supply chain issues.
Semiconductors are seen as strategic products, essential to strengthening the country’s economic security. Japan is offering subsidies to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and other firms to build plants in Japan, or expand existing facilities, and will include the sales target in Japan’s semiconductor and digital industry strategy, which will be updated by the middle of this year.
Japan’s locally made Microchips
However, Japan’s share in the global microchip market has fallen from 50% in the late 1980s to just 10%, as competitors with deeper pockets, such as Samsung Electronics in South Korea, have taken the lead.
Last week, Japan announced export restrictions on 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, as part of its efforts to prevent advanced technology from being used for military purposes. The measures align Japan’s technology trade controls with a US push to curb China’s ability to make advanced chips.
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura has stated that Japan is fulfilling its responsibility as a technological nation to contribute to international peace and stability, and does not have a specific country in mind for the measures. Nikon and Tokyo Electron are two major global chip equipment makers based in Japan.