Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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Authorization of a Plan for New Business Activities under the Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act

On May 23, 2014, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) authorized a plan for new business activities under the Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”), which was submitted by four companies, i.e., Toshiba Corporation, Kansan Corporation, A-Tech Corporation, and Nippon Physical Acoustics Ltd..

In accordance with this plan, the companies will utilize their own technology for inspecting gas containers used in manufacturing semiconductors and introduce new methods into such inspection, including ultrasonic testing. This effort is expected to strengthen the competitiveness of the companies by significantly reducing cost and duration required for the re-inspection of such containers.

1. Utilization of the System of Special Arrangements for Corporate Field Tests

The System of Special Arrangements for Corporate Field Tests under the Act is a framework for allowing preferential regulatory flexibility to individual enterprises. Under this system, each private company is able to request the Government of Japan to apply a special arrangement for regulatory reform to the company, which is required in order to embark on new business. In response, government ministers with jurisdiction over the business and the regulation will examine and discuss the request, and then decide whether to approve the request under the special arrangement.

On January 27, 2014, under Article 8 of the Act, the related industry submitted a request for newly creating a special arrangement for introducing ultrasonic testing and other inspection methods into a re-inspection process of high purity gas containers used in manufacturing semiconductors. In response, METI, the ministry in charge of the business and regulation of the industry, examined the request, and, on April 24, 2014, decided to create a new special arrangement of the regulation.

Authorization of a plan for new business activities is required for starting new business utilizing this special arrangement.

2. Authorization of the four companies’ plan for new business activities and its outline

METI examined a plan for new business activities submitted by the four companies (Toshiba Corporation, Kansan Corporation, A-Tech Corporation, and Nippon Physical Acoustics Ltd.) under the provisions of Article 10 (4) of the Act, concerning the use of new methods, including ultrasonic testing, that will be applied to a re-inspection process of high purity gas containers.

As a result of the examination, METI concluded that the companies satisfy the requirements under the Act as entrepreneurs that conduct new business, stipulated under Article 2 (3) of the Act, and authorized the action plan. This authorization will enable the companies to make use of a new special arrangement of the regulation and to embark on new business. For further details, see the Japanese language press release.

Release Date

May 23, 2014

Division in Charge

  • Device Industry Strategy Office, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau
  • High Pressure Gas Safety Office, Distribution and Industrial Safety Policy Group, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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