• Technology

Ruling Party Official Visits Japan’s Silicon Island to Urge Development of Semiconductor Workforce

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Liberal Democratic Party official Koichi Hagiuda, center, visits the National Institute of Technology, Kumamoto College, in Koshi, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Monday.

Koichi Hagiuda, chairperson of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Research Council, has stressed the importance of fostering human resources in the semiconductor sector during his visit to the National Institute of Technology, Kumamoto College.

“We have to tackle this task by having the entire nation join forces,” Hagiuda said Monday at the college in the city of Koshi.

Hagiuda toured facilities at the school and exchanged views with school officials and other parties. The Kumamoto school is typical of Japan’s colleges of technology: five-year institutions that offer a practical curriculum to foster technical professionals.

There are growing expectations in the nation to revitalize the semiconductor industry in Kyushu, which is dubbed Silicon Island by some people in Japan.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract chipmaker better known as TSMC, is building a plant in Kumamoto Prefecture that will start operations in 2024. The prefectural government is also emphasizing the development of human resources for the semiconductor sector.

As the Kumamoto technical college is considered the base for developing such human resources, the school started offering new courses on semiconductor engineering and related subjects.

The educational style offered by Japan’s colleges of technology has been introduced in emerging and developing countries such as those of the so-called Global South. The central government has been supporting this export of education by dispatching teachers to those nations.

The hope is that such efforts will eventually lead to more expert human resources possibly coming to Japan to work alongside the strengthening of the semiconductor supply chain.