Japan to pay up to $320M for US company’s chip production

Japan to pay up to $320M for US company’s chip production

TOKYO — Japan is providing a major U.S. chipmaker a subsidy of up to 46.6 billion yen ($322 million) to support its plan to produce advanced memory chips at a Hiroshima factory, the Japanese trade minister said Friday. The announcement to subsidize Micron Technology follows the visit of U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris to Japan. This is as the two countries increase cooperation in expanding manufacturing and supply chains of critical materials.

“I believe the deal will help to expand cooperation between Japan and America in the area semiconductors,” Yasutoshi Naimura, Japan’s Economy and Trade Minister, said. He said that the deal was approved by the government Friday under a law relating to economic security.

During her trip to Asia this week, Harris met with Japanese officials and semiconductor company executives to seek greater cooperation in strengthening semiconductor development and production amid China‘s growing influence.

Micron was among the companies that participated in the meeting with Harris, along with Tokyo Electron, Nikon, Hitachi High-Tech Group, Fujitsu Ltd.

The United States is working to solidify its technology cooperation with Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, while trying to increase its domestic semiconductor manufacturing, amid China’s own investment in computer chips.

Nishimura has stressed the U.S.-Japan alliance on semiconductors, as well as energy and other areas.

Japan used to be a leader in computer chip manufacturing. However, its position has declined over the past two decades and the country is becoming increasingly concerned about falling behind.

Japan created its own fund to support semiconductor manufacturing. $3.3 billion of the $4.3 billion are being used to support a new factory in Kumamoto’s southern prefecture.

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