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Japan eyeing 95.7 billion yen for strategic materials in FY 2022

  • December 24, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 12:23 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Dec. 24 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government’s draft fiscal 2022 budget includes 95.7 billion yen for the procurement of important materials as it seeks to beef up the country’s economic security, a centerpiece of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s strategy to spur growth.

The Kishida administration is ramping up efforts to secure rare earth, used for items including semiconductors, and other strategic materials.

It is also speeding up work to develop cutting-edge domestic technologies and enhance supply chains for strategic materials and products, such as semiconductors, amid the intensifying U.S.-China rivalry.

Especially, a challenge for Japan is to diversify procurement of rare earth at a time when the country currently relies on China for nearly 60 pct of its rare earth imports.

In the high-priority semiconductor field, the government set aside 14.9 billion yen under the draft fiscal 2022 budget, adopted Friday, mainly for measures to support the development of chips for artificial intelligence. Under its recently enacted fiscal 2021 supplementary budget, the state is set to spend around 770 billion yen to help a foreign maker of state-of-the-art semiconductors open a facility in Japan and for other measures related to chip development.

The draft budget for the year from next April also includes 26.1 billion yen for supporting research and development for medicines and medical technologies following the novel coronavirus pandemic.

As growing public awareness of the importance of human rights protection and environmental conservation in the United States and Europe is starting to affect Japanese companies’ procurement of materials and products, the government included in the draft budget 37.2 billion yen for research needed for Japan to take the initiative in negotiations on setting related international rules.

The government plans to submit a bill to enhance economic security to next year’s regular parliamentary session, aiming to back up the efforts to strengthen supply chains and facilitate public-private technological cooperation.

Close attention is being paid to the level of the government’s seriousness in the procurement of semiconductors and other strategic materials and products, economic security minister Takayuki Kobayashi has said.

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