Ghe new Japanese government has only just appointed a minister for economic security for the first time. The government is already planning to promote the establishment of a new, ultra-modern semiconductor factory for computer chips in Japan.

Patrick Welter

Correspondent for business and politics in Japan, based in Tokyo.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is considering building a chip factory for around $ 7 billion in Kumamoto on the southwestern main island of Kyushu, according to Japanese media reports. The government plans to subsidize the investment up to half of the financial volume, it is said. The first funding for this is to be made available in the supplementary budget that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida commissioned a few days after taking office.

For TSMC, it would be the first semiconductor factory in Japan. In the United States, the company is already building a $ 12 billion factory in Arizona that is scheduled to begin mass production in the first quarter of 2024. In February, TSMC announced the construction of a research center in Ibaraki, a neighboring prefecture of Tokyo.

Sony participates

In return for the subsidy, the Tokyo government is demanding that Japanese customers receive preferential delivery from the new semiconductor factory, it said. With the planned financial support, the government of Kishida is taking up a plan of the previous government.

According to reports, the Japanese electronics company Sony is to participate in the TSMC investment as a smaller partner. Sony already has a large factory for the production of image sensors in Kumamoto. With these sensors, the company dominates the deliveries for smartphones. Image sensors from Sony are also becoming increasingly important in cars with the first functions for autonomous driving. TSMC and Sony did not comment on the reports.

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