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Japanese Companies To Spend Billions On Semiconductor Production

Major Japanese companies including Sony Group and Mitsubishi Electric are outlining plans to spend around A$53.52 billion (5 trillion yen) in semiconductor production before the end of this decade.

That figure represents the capital investment from 2021 until 2029 by eight Japanese chipmakers including Sony Group, Mitsubishi Electric, Rohm, Toshiba, Kioxia Holdings, Renesas Electronics, Rapidus and Fuji Electric.

A Japanese Ministry of Finance survey indicated that the capital investment in the communications equipment sector, including semiconductor manufacturing, increased 30 per cent over five years to A$2.2 billion (2.1 trillion yen) in the fiscal 2022, reported Nikkei Asia.

The chipmakers’ share of overall manufacturing investment rose from 11 per cent to 13 per cent over the same period, becoming the third largest spender after transportation machinery at 15 per cent and chemicals at 14 per cent.

Sony is investing approximately A$1.7 billion (1.6 trillion yen) from the fiscal year of 2021 to 2026, with plans to increase its production of image sensors.

It set up a new facility at its site in the Nagasaki prefecture in fiscal 2023 and announced plans for a new plant in the Kumamoto prefecture.

Toshiba meanwhile will increase the production of silicon power devices at a factory in central Japan’s Ishikawa prefecture, while Rohm will raise the production of silicon carbide power devices at a factory in the Miyazaki prefecture.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Electric will raise its production capacity of silicon carbide power devices 5-fold in fiscal 2026 compared to 2022. It also plans to build a new facility building in the Kumamoto prefecture.

In 1988, Japan held 50 per cent of the world’s semiconductor market share, but saw its dominance eroded at the hands of South Korean and Taiwanese companies over the decades that followed.

The market share of semiconductor manufacturers whose headquarters are in Japan in 2023 was 8.68 per cent in terms of sales, up 0.03 points from 2022.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has reportedly set a goal of increasing sales of domestically produced semiconductors, including those made by foreign companies like TSMC to over A$160.56 billion (15 trillion yen) by 2030, which would be triple the amount in 2020.



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