Japan's new industry minister pledges chip sector support

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Japan's new industry minister on Wednesday pledged to continue supporting efforts to revitalise the country's chip manufacturing base, which have included subsidies for Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC and foundry venture Rapidus.

"The speed of policymaking and execution, which could be called the world's fastest, has led to concrete results beginning with the decision on the location for TSMC," industry minister Ken Saito told reporters.

"It is my job to continue and expand upon the sense of speed that former minister Nishimura has built up," Saito said, referring to his predecessor Yasutoshi Nishimura. Japanese premier Fumio Kishida last week appointed Saito to lead the powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) after purging his cabinet to contain the damage from a financial scandal.

The government's efforts to regain Japan's faded chip glory include financial support for Rapidus, which is led by chip industry veterans and aims to mass manufacture 2-nanometre logic chips.

TSMC, the world's leading contract chipmaker, views the Japanese government as easy to deal with and generous with subsidies and is considering further expansion in Japan beyond its first fab, Reuters has reported.

"Ongoing support for Rapidus will be necessary. Discussions with TSMC regarding next projects are also ongoing," Saito said.

"We will not blindly continue our support but strictly manage progress and the necessity of backing," he added.
Source: https://www.channelnewsasia.com

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