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Japan-U.S. To Hold Bilateral Meeting to Advance Semiconductor Industry

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will meet U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington on April 10, 2024. The meeting will focus on strengthening Japan-U.S. cooperation on advanced technology. A leading Japanese newspaper, ‘The Asahi Shimbun’, referred to the draft statement to be released after the meeting and pointed out several crucial outcomes of this bilateral talk.

Semiconductors and Artificial Intelligence

The draft statement announces that Japan and the U.S. will work together to develop the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), semiconductors, quantum technology, and bio-research. The statement defines the bilateral relationship as a “global partnership”. The statement also said both nations would keep working parallelly with their partner countries in the abovementioned fields.

U.S. and Japan will formulate a framework for AI development and research by cooperating with U.S. semiconductor manufacturer Nvidia Corp., Amazon as well as the University of Washington and the University of Tsukuba, and SoftBank Group Corp.-owned Arm Holdings, a prominent British semiconductor design company. According to recent discussions, an estimated amount of $100 million (nearly 15 billion yen) will be provided for AI cooperation.

Energy and Climate Change

Japan has a solid potential to strengthen coordination in the field of offshore wind power generation due to its strategic location near the ocean. The U.S. Energy Department will be leading multiple technological development projects shortly. These projects will witness the participation of Japan. Through such projects, both countries will strengthen their climate change and energy coordination.

Defense Cooperation

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden will strengthen control coordination and command between the U.S. military and the Self-Defense Forces. In the meeting, the two leaders will also discuss the feasibility of permitting Japanese companies to carry out prominent repairs to ships of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet. It would be a convenient decision for the U.S. as the Fleet operates in and around Japan’s territorial waters.

Strong U.S.-Japan Ties in the Semiconductor Industry

Japan has been trying to revitalise its semiconductor industry for the last few years to increase its competitiveness in the global market. The 2022 Japan-U.S. bilateral meeting decided to establish a more robust semiconductor supply chain. Since 2022, both countries have been committed to pursuing joint research and development. Japan had even announced the establishment of a public research organisation based on the Leading-Edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC) and the U.S. National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC). Since 2023, both countries have also been working on digital economy issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

The meeting between Japan and the U.S. will focus on the importance of peace and stability in Taiwan. After the meeting, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will visit an area in North Carolina, U.S., where Toyota Motor Corporation plans to construct a fuel cell factory for electric vehicles. Mr. Fumio’s visit to the U.S. represents Japan’s eagerness to create a robust job market in its ally country.