$14bn Makes Way to Japan for Stable Supply Chain

by Carolyn Mathas

Trying to achieve supply-chain stability has brought $14 billion into Japan via announced investment plans since 2021. U.S., Europe, South Korea, and Taiwan spending is the result of an effort by the Japanese government to create chip supply chains with partners with shared values. Japan hopes to ensure a stable supply of critical components, bolster economic security, and lessen reliance on China.

Micron Technology CEO Sanjay Mehrotra announced that it will invest up to 500 billion yen in Japan over the next few years to include a manufacturing line for memory chips at its Hiroshima plant. Other announcements include:

  • Applied Materials to hire 800 engineers in Japan, growing its local headcount by 60%
  • Intel’s Pat Gelsinger stated that semiconductor packaging is a possible future investment
  • IMEC intends to set up a research center in Hokkaido to support Rapidus
  • Samsung Electronics will invest more than 30 billion yen in a new chip development facility in Yokohama
  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has one Japanese plant under construction and a second in the works

Japan’s focus on developing its chip industry started in 2021, when the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry released its semiconductor strategy. Budgeting 2 trillion yen to support domestic and foreign players in the field through subsidies and creating a friendlier business environment, their goal is to triple sales of semiconductors and related products made in Japan to 15 trillion yen by 2030.

The U.S. has tightly restricted chip-related exports to China, while Japan and Europe are following suit. Samsung’s investment in Japan is largely due to the country’s recent diplomatic thaw with South Korea, encouraged by the U.S.

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