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Authorization of a Plan for New Business Activities under the Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act

On October 16, 2015, 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 two companies, Sony Semiconductor Corporation and Kansan Corporation.
This plan is to introduce new methods, including ultrasonic testing, into the inspection of gas containers used in manufacturing semiconductors.
This effort is expected to strengthen the competitiveness of the companies by significantly reducing the 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 for individual enterprises. Under this system, each private company is able to request that the Government of Japan 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 regulations 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, semiconductor companies submitted a request for newly creating a special arrangement for introducing ultrasonic testing and other inspection methods into the re-inspection process for high-purity gas containers used in manufacturing semiconductors. In response, METI, the ministry in charge of the business and the regulation of the industry, examined the request, and, on April 24, 2014, decided to create a special arrangement for new regulations.

The authorization of a plan for new business activities is required for starting new business utilizing these special arrangements.

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

METI examined the plan for new business activities submitted by the two companies (Sony Semiconductor Corporation and Kansan Corporation) under the provisions of Article 10 (4) of the Act, concerning the use of new methods, including ultrasonic testing, that will be applied in the re-inspection process for high-purity gas containers.

As a result, METI concluded that the companies satisfy the requirements under the Act as entities that are conducting new business, as 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 for the regulations and to embark on new business. For further details, see the Japanese language press release.

Release date

October 16, 2015

Division in charge

  • Device Industry Strategy Office, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau
  • High Pressure Gas Safety Office, Commerce, 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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