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Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)

*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.

8:16-8:22 a.m.
Friday, March 10, 2023
In front of the Cabinet Room,
2nd floor, National Diet Building

Opening Remarks

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Visit to Fukushima

I would like to say four things at the start.
First, tomorrow will mark the 12th year since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Once again, I would like to express my deepest condolences for the lives that were lost, and my heartfelt sympathy to those who were affected by the disaster. The most critical challenges facing us are reconstructing Fukushima and decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, and we will continue to make steady progress while working closely with the people of Fukushima.
Tomorrow, I will attend the Fukushima Memorial Event to Commemorate the Victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake in Prayer for Revitalization, organized by Fukushima Prefecture.

Visit to Okinawa

Second on the 12th, the day after tomorrow, I will visit Okinawa and I will exchange views with business leaders in Okinawa Prefecture and attend the MOU signing ceremony between the Okinawa Prefecture Foreign Trade Association and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance. I also plan to exchange views with SMEs, small businesses and startups, and visit the Yorozu general support station.

The Bill on the Amendment to the Unfair Competition Prevention Act and Other Acts and the Bill on the Amendment to the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Credit Insurance Act and the Shoko Chukin Bank Limited Act

Third, a cabinet decision was made on the two bills today. One is the bill to partially amend the Unfair Competition Prevention Act and Other Acts, and another is the bill to partially amend the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Credit Insurance Act, and the Shoko Chukin Bank Limited Act. The administrative staff will explain the details.


Fourth, today, the Cabinet approved Japan’s participation in the Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA), an initiative of like-minded countries as an interim response to the impasse of the Appellate Body of the WTO. We will utilize the MPIA to ensure the effectiveness of dispute settlement to protect the interests of Japanese industry while continuously working to restore the WTO’s dispute settlement function.

Question-and-Answer Session

Semiconductor Export Control

Q: The Dutch government announced that it will implement new export controls on semiconductor manufacturing equipment. It seems that this decision was made with China in mind. Please tell us how the Japanese government will respond.

A: I am aware that the Netherlands has announced that it will strengthen export controls on advanced semiconductors manufacturing equipment and it intends to move towards designing a specific system by this summer. From the viewpoint of international peace and security, it is extremely important to control the export of sensitive goods and technologies that may be used for military purposes. I believe that is the basis for the Netherlands' policy.
Although Japan has not decided on any policy at this time, we will consider appropriate measures in light of this recent development in the Netherlands.
According to the official announcement by the Netherlands, I recognize that it was not made with any specific country in mind, as you suggested.

Advanced Semiconductors

Q: At yesterday's plenary session in the House of Representatives, you gave an answer to a question about Rapidus and mentioned a human resource development consortium. Has it been discussed in concrete terms? In addition to human resource development, is the government considering any other support for Rapidus?

A: Next-generation semiconductors are key to supporting next-generation digital technologies, including AI and autonomous driving. Japan, the US, and European countries are working together to establish a design and manufacturing base in the second half of the 2020s. A company called Rapidus has been established with major investment from the private sector in Japan, and the government is providing various kinds of support.
In order to establish a design and manufacturing base, it is essential to develop and secure human resources who will support it. As I mentioned yesterday, efforts toward forming a human resources consortium are being made in Kyushu, where TSMC has decided to build a new plant. We will develop human resources related to semiconductors through collaboration between industry, academia, and government while taking advantage of regional characteristics.
Hokkaido will also launch an organization called the Digital Human Resource Development Council of Hokkaido on March 14. This will be an industry-academia-government framework that brings together universities and technical colleges that have produced science and technology human resources. Taking advantage of this framework and environment, we will consult with local governments, and further proceed with necessary initiatives.

Last updated:2023-03-23