Japan to Invest in Chip Manufacturing at a Growth Rate Unmatched by Other Nations


Japan’s chip-gear spending is expected to take off in 2021 as the country attempts to strengthen its position in the global semiconductor market. SEMI, a global association of chipmakers, predicts that Japan will increase its spending on fab equipment by a massive 82% next year — the greatest jump of any nation on earth and higher than the total investments from Europe and the Middle East.

Taiwan currently leads with the highest spending of $24.9 billion, and Japan’s aggressive investing is part of a US-guided reshaping of the global chip supply chains. Tokyo recently claimed control over shipments of 23 types of chipmaking equipment, including extreme ultraviolet mask-testers and immersion lithography machines, in a reportedly move to restrict Chinese access to advanced technology.

Japan is hoping to capitalize on its historic production of material and equipment necessary for the production of chips by partnering with the likes of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Samsung Electronics, the key South Korean semiconductor company. Japan desires to use chipmaking to propel its tech industry and, consequently, its economy.

Beijing responded to the US-Japan alliance by citing that such restrictions threaten the stability of the global supply chain, and China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang urged Japan to resist against US oppression in the realm of semiconductor manufacturing. However, Japan continues to be a strong American ally in order to halt Beijing’s advances into newly advanced frontiers like quantum computing, wireless networks, and AI.

The Center for Security and Emerging Technology, a Georgetown University-affiliated think tank, shares that the USA and its international partners, including Japan, contribute 92% of the user value of the entire global semiconductor supply cycle, while 6% is held by China. Although there are more advantages, Japan is walking a careful line, having recently qualified its export curbs on materials to South Korea with the aim of assuaging the long-held resentment against their wartime history.

The person mentioned in the article is Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi who recently pressed for the return of a Japanese citizen that was detained in China in March 2020.

The company mentioned in the article is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Founded in 1987, TSMC is one of the world’s top semiconductor companies and the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry with over 500 customers from a variety of industries. TSMC is the world leader in custom process technologies, the company’s core competency and a key source of strength. TSMC is a major supplier of semiconductor products for numerous famous international and domestic customers, such as Apple, Qualcomm, ASE and UMC.