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Japanese government to subsidize 2nd JASM fab

02/24/2024 07:49 PM
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CNA photo Feb. 24, 2024
CNA photo Feb. 24, 2024

Kumamoto, Japan, Feb. 24 (CNA) Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Minister Ken Saito on Saturday confirmed that the Japanese government has agreed to grant a subsidy of 732 billion yen (US$4.86 billion) to Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing's (JASM) to build a second fab in Kumamoto.

The first fab of JASM -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s (TSMC) joint venture with Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp. (SSS), DENSO Corp. (DENSO) and Toyota Motor Corp. -- was opened in Japan's Kumamoto prefecture on Saturday.

On the sidelines of the opening ceremony, Saito told the media that the Japanese government had settled on a subsidy of 732 billion yen for JASM's second fab.

While Saito declined to comment on the second fab's location, a source close to the matter told reporters at Saturday's ceremony that JASM's second fab would be around a 20-minute drive from the first fab in Kikuyo.

An official from METI said the Kumamoto fabs would need to use silicon wafers from Japanese suppliers, and that 50 percent of the indirect materials for the manufacturing at the fabs must rely on the local supply chain in order to qualify for the subsidy.

Other attendees at Saturday's ceremony included TSMC founder Morris Chang (張忠謀), chairman Mark Liu (劉德音), CEO C.C. Wei (魏哲家), and the top executives of Sony and DENSO.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delivered remarks in a prerecorded video, in which he lauded the fab's opening and described semiconductors as an indispensable technology for digitalization and decarbonization.

"The Japanese government has implemented unprecedented, bold support for the development of a domestic manufacturing base for advanced semiconductor," Kishida said.

(By Yang Ming-chu and Alison Hsiao)

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