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Japan mulls programs to develop talent in semiconductors, batteries

  • May 1, 2022
  • , Kyodo News , 9:31 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO – Japan is considering establishing talent development programs involving industry, academia and government sectors across the country to boost domestic development in semiconductors and batteries, government sources said Sunday.


The programs, which will be based on a framework established in the Kyushu region in March, aim to secure human resources for industries becoming increasingly important in an era of digitalization and decarbonization, as demand for such professionals around the world grows, according to an official of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.


A joint chip-making venture established by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Sony Group Corp., as well as Kyushu University and nine local governments from all seven prefectures in Kyushu, are among those involved in the program on the southwestern main island.


The Kinki region of western Japan is aiming to develop talent in the field of storage batteries, which are needed to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles, with Panasonic Holdings Corp. expected to join the program.


The programs in the Tohoku and Chugoku regions, in northeastern and western Japan, respectively, are expected to focus on semiconductors, while the Kanto region centering around Tokyo and the Chubu region of central Japan will focus on artificial intelligence and other types of digital technologies.


Industry ministry bureaus in each region are overseeing the development programs, which will be tailored to the needs of companies, and launches are expected to be made from summer through fall.


The government has also established a subsidy program to support the construction of new manufacturing facilities, with TSMC’s new plant in Kumamoto Prefecture expected to be the first recipient.


The Kumamoto factory plans to hire more than 1,000 people, with shipments scheduled to begin in December 2024.


The industry ministry plans to compile a national strategy for storage batteries around the summer to strengthen support for development.

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