¥500 billion fund to reinforce economic security

In a move intended to reinforce the nation’s economic security, the government intends to establish a fund that will eventually reach ¥500 billion and be used to support the research and development of vital cutting-edge technologies and their practical application, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

According to sources, artificial intelligence, quantum technology and space development are among the fields the government has in mind for the fund, as they are all considered vital to maintaining Japan’s international competitiveness.

The government is scheduled to establish a relevant think tank this year, and will support universities and other research institutes.

Economic security refers to independently securing and maintaining economic fields essential to the national interest. Semiconductors, which are widely considered a “staple” of industry, also are an important field, but Japan relies on semiconductors imported from Taiwan and China to meet more than 60% of domestic demand.

The government aims to increase domestic production of semiconductors, and is eyeing the provision of subsidies for the plant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. plans to build in Kumamoto Prefecture.