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- Press Conference by Minister Hagiuda (Excerpt)
Press Conference by Minister Hagiuda (Excerpt)
*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.
Friday, June 17, 2022
Press Conference Room, METI
Authorization of the Plan to Develop Advanced Semiconductor Production Facilities
I would like to say one thing at the start.
Today, a plan for the development of advanced semiconductor production facilities was authorized based on the 5G Promotion Act. The plan was jointly submitted by TSMC and JASM, a joint venture between TSMC, Sony, and DENSO.
METI has decided that the plan meets the authorization criteria set forth in the 5G Promotion Act and will contribute to the stable production of advanced semiconductors in Japan. The maximum amount of the grant is set at 476 billion yen. We will now undertake a close examination of the details of the application.
This will be a very large grant, and I, as a member of the government, think that many challenges lie ahead for us. We will work closely with the local Kumamoto prefectural government and related ministries and agencies to ensure that the manufacturing base is developed sustainably in the region.
In particular, it is important to secure human resources to support the manufacturing base. METI has established a human resource development consortium with the local industry comprised of the industry, government, and academia to form curricula for developing human resources who will be immediate assets. The National Institute of Technology, Kumamoto and Sasebo Colleges have already introduced new curricula and are promoting practical education outside the classroom that includes visiting lectures and factory tours provided by companies. TSMC has also said that it wants to contribute to developing human resources in Japan, so we will further deepen our efforts while referring to the efforts being taken in Taiwan.
I hope that this newly authorized plan will strengthen the current semiconductor supply chain in Japan and continuously contribute to the development of the semiconductor industry for the future.
The administrative staff will explain more details in a later briefing.
Q: Yesterday, METI announced that it will establish and lead an industry association to promote the utilization of PHR (personal health records). I think there is a strong perception that companies overseas are ahead in this field. Please tell us your expectations and challenges in the future.
A: PHR is a field that will not only support the health of citizens, but also allow us to solve social issues and achieve growth, leading to the creation of new industries. I believe this is the very embodiment of the new core of economic and industrial policy that I have been working on.
As the digital health market expands around the world, Japan has advantages such as being able to utilize high-quality data based on its universal health insurance system. We hope that establishing a cross-industry PHR organization will create many services with even greater competitiveness in the future.
In addition, I believe it is important to cooperate with companies from overseas rather than confront them, and make Japan's proposed data standardization a global standard. METI will provide the necessary support to do so.
Power Supply and Demand
Q: Regarding the supply and demand of power, I believe you had a discussion with 11 major power companies yesterday. Please tell us what you told them.
In addition, after the meeting, Chairman Ikebe said that the institutional system for securing supply capacity in the medium term is important, and the industry has requested that it be considered.
In response, do you think there is a problem with the country's current institutional system?
A: First, since yesterday's meeting was a private exchange of views, I will refrain from providing details. However, I conveyed the government's thoughts on how to respond to the current tight power supply and demand conditions as well as on the situations and issues at home and abroad surrounding power. We exchanged various opinions on what responses the industry can take. The main purpose of the meeting was to develop a shared understanding of the problems between the public and private sectors related to how to address and overcome the tight power conditions this summer and winter. There were various opinions in that regard.
I also said that we should continuously review power systems. For example, the meeting had no members from PPS companies. The market reform done through the introduction of PPSs has eliminated traditional local monopolies and provided cheaper power—although this incentive is gone for the moment. While there have been benefits that the existing major power companies have continued to diligently addressed power supply, we have started to see problems and challenges in our attempts to deviate from the conventional system. So, I said that reforms are always ongoing and will never end.