Japan is set to increase its spending on chip-gear by a staggering 82% in a bid to bolster its position in the global semiconductor market. The spending boost will put Japan ahead of other major chip-making markets, including China, Europe and the Middle East. Although Taiwan remains the biggest spender on chip-fabrication equipment, Japan’s surge in spending is significant. According to data from SEMI, a global association of chip-making equipment producers, Japan’s planned investment is worth around $7 billion.
This move by Japan also follows the nation’s plan to restrict the export of key equipment required to manufacture chips, such as immersion lithography machines, extreme ultraviolet mask-testers and silicon-wafer cleaners. China has expressed concern over Japan’s decision, stating that Japan is aiding the US’ efforts to quash the Chinese semiconductor industry. Some experts predict that Japan’s increased investment could impact Beijing’s access to advanced chip-making technology.
China is not the only country to take note of Japan’s latest move. The Netherlands has also joined in, restricting access to technology that could be used in weapons production, while the US is already limiting access to tools required to manufacture chips for AI, computer services, and other advanced applications.
This increase in Japan’s spending on chip-gear and the new export restrictions on key equipment has spurred concern in China, which is urging Japan not to align with the US to suppress China’s semiconductor industry. Despite having its own chip foundries, China has expressed concern over access to advanced chip-making technology required for the manufacturing of high-end processors.
In summary, Japan’s massive surge in spending on chip-gear has major implications for the global semiconductor market. Japan’s investment could restrict China’s access to advanced chip-making technology, while the country’s export restrictions could also affect other major chip-making markets. It is an issue that has already sparked tension between China, Japan, and the US.