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Japan’s Semiconductor Industry: Regaining Global Leadership
Amid recurring global media headlines on roles of semiconductors in the data-driven global economy, their critical functions in national security, and ongoing conversations within the Japanese government on Tokyo’s role in boosting its own capabilities domestically, BGA’s Japan team, led by Managing Director Kiyoaki Aburaki, publicly released a report on May 8 setting out how Japan’s semiconductor industry can regain global leadership.
The report, which has been shared with high-level interlocutors across the public and private sector, sets out a new, granular strategy and a series of guiding principles designed to position Japan as an indispensable node in the global value chain and an advanced semiconductor archipelago driving multi-tiered innovation across the value chain and expanding technological contribution to its allies and friends. It could build on the strengthened political will by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his government to strengthen the semiconductor industry well as recent foreign policy engagements such as his summit meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in April.
The report breaks new ground by developing specific policies for Japan’s semiconductor industry by categories of semiconductors: 1) analog: (promoting R&D and production of next generation chips); 2) logic (increasing cutting-edge foundries’ technological reliance on Japan and actively deploying Japanese design technology in the volume zone; 3) memory (utilizing maximum domestic industrial capacity focused on next generation modules); 4) power (using new materials and design technology).
Additionally, the report also sets out three guiding principles to strengthen domestic industrial capability that leverage the full weight of a diverse array of stakeholders and focus on key priorities and sectors: R&D for higher returns, with the help of deregulation and infrastructure development; economic growth and security to align security management with allies and friends including the United States; and green innovation and growth focused on areas such as energy efficiency and green data centers.
Slides distilling the findings of the report can be found here in English and Japanese respectively, along with Japanese text on the report. For more questions about the report and related issues on developments in Japan, please contact BGA Japan Managing Director Kiyoaki Aburaki.