Japan to secure 500 bil. yen to boost economic security

© Kyodo News

Japan looks to secure 500 billion yen ($4.4 billion) to help develop and apply key technologies, such as artificial intelligence, as it aims to strengthen its economic security, government sources said Thursday.

The government intends to include the policy in its economic package to be formally adopted Friday along with its plans to help create production bases for semiconductors and vaccines, they said.

The move comes amid intensifying international competition for advanced technologies and concerns over China regarding technology transfer, intellectual property protection, market openness and transparency.

The government plans to set up a fund for addressing issues related to economic security over the long term, compile bills for boosting that security, prevent technology drain and promote the creation of domestic production bases for vaccines.

Amid a global chip crunch, the government also seeks to support the production of semiconductors in Japan by creating a subsidy program, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s Kumamoto plant expected to be the first to be eligible.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has emphasized economic security, creating a ministerial post to handle the issue when he came to power last month.

Since a tit-for-tat tariff trade war intensified between China and the United States in 2018, Japanese policymakers have become more concerned about their country's economic security, given that many Japanese firms have expanded their operations in the two nations.