June 30
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Japan and the US will commit to improving semiconductor research and manufacturing at a leaders' summit scheduled for May 23, a Japanese government source said Saturday, Kuodo reported.

The pending agreement to be signed between Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and US President Joe Biden will aim to create a framework to ensure domestic emergency semiconductor stockpiles and deepen US-Japan economic security cooperation, according to the source.

Dependence on South Korean and Taiwanese manufacturing is a growing concern as China expands its military power and influence in East Asia.

According to the source, the possibility of issuing a joint statement, which will be amended to expand cooperation in new areas of defense, including outer space and cyberspace, is also being considered.

The coronavirus pandemic has drawn attention to the problem of semiconductor shortages around the world. The question of how to reliably obtain key technology in the conditions of war, disasters and other unforeseen circumstances has become one of the main ones.

Semiconductors are used in a variety of electrical products and devices. If at the end of the 1980s Japan occupied half of the world semiconductor market, in recent years it has accounted for only about 10%.

During the summit, Kishida and Biden are expected to agree on the production, research and development of complex semiconductors, as well as the creation of a system that allows countries to jointly supply components for domestic production, the source said.

The Tokyo-backed response plan to China's multinational economic Belt and Road Initiative is designed to promote fair trade and improve supply chains for products including semiconductors.

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