Govt Eyes Export Curb on Chip Equipment

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The trade ministry said Friday that it will start soliciting public comments on a plan to revise an ordinance under the Foreign Exchange and Trade Law to restrict exports of advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

The ministry will accept public comments through April 29, hoping to introduce the export restrictions on 23 semiconductor manufacturing machines in July.

The move is aimed at joining the United States and the Netherlands, both home to major semiconductor manufacturing equipment makers, in efforts to prevent advanced semiconductor technologies from being used for military purposes. Behind such efforts is China’s growing military pressure against Taiwan.

The 23 items include equipment to remove impurities generated during the semiconductor manufacturing process and machines to produce semiconductor films.

Under the plan, Japan’s exports of the 23 devices will be restricted worldwide and approval from the trade minister will be required to export the items.