Prime Minister Fumio Kishida backed the Japanese government's decision to make the nation a major global provider of essential computer chips with the approval of 774 billion yen $6.8 billion in funding for domestic semiconductor investment.
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The package, part of the Cabinet's budget for this fiscal year, consists of three parts: 617 billion yen to fund domestic investment into cutting-edge chip manufacturing capacity, 47 billion yen for legacy production, such as analog chips and power management parts, and 110 billion yen for research and development of next-generation silicon.
Tokyo will spend 617 billion yen on a planned semiconductor plant in Kumamoto prefecture, a planned semiconductor plant by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Sony Group Corp.. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry hasn't elaborated on the exact amount that will be used for the project, but it has said it would pay up to half of the total investment needed for a project in this category. The ministry said that up to one-third of the total capital expenditure will be provided for legacy chip production.
Japan s ruling party and government have made it a priority to support companies beefing up semiconductor production, with the approval of the budget being just the beginning of increased investment in the sector. The need to increase domestic chipmaking capacity is highlighted by the development of technology trends ranging from 5 G wireless communication to autonomous driving and the metaverse that require massive computing power, and supply-chain snarls over the past year.
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