Below are comments by Seki Yoshihiro, Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) parliamentary league on semiconductor strategy promotion.
Japan continues to experience semiconductor shortages, which force major Japanese automakers, for example, to suspend production. Huge investments need to be made in research and development to support Japanese companies in reinforcing their manufacturing technology as well as strengthening their cooperation with Taiwanese companies, which dominate the industry.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the global industry leader with advanced manufacturing technology, is joining hands with a Japanese company to construct a joint research facility for manufacturing processes in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture. Ties [with TMSC] should be strengthened by expanding the facility’s target processes and enhancing cooperation in manufacturing.
To further engage with TSMC, we need to find latent domestic demand for semiconductors. Digital transformation (DX) will lead to increased demand for semiconductors in telecommunication equipment and data management facilities. It is essential that political circles support a digitized society.
There is concern that lack of water will affect Taiwan’s semiconductor industry. Japan’s strength is its plentiful water resources, which are used to produce precision parts. I would like to see Japan to leverage its advantages, such as political stability and good factory locations.
The LDP’s semiconductor strategy promotion parliamentary league formulated a resolution in May 2021 and requested the government to allocate a budget on a par with that of other countries to establish a research and development fund.
The U.S., European countries, and China invest trillions of yen in semiconductors and position semiconductors as a state industry which affects a wide range of other sectors. Our parliamentary league will continue to call for a budget allocation [for a fund] in the 2021 amended budget.