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Press Conference by Minister Saito (Excerpt)

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

8:33 to 8.38 a.m.
Tuesday, February 6, 2024
In front of the Cabinet Room, 2nd floor, National Diet Building


Opening Remarks

Approval of a plan based on the 5G Promotion Act

Good morning. To begin, I would like to mention one point.

We have decided to provide support for the expansion of production of advanced NAND memory chips and 10 years of continuous production by the joint venture company of Kioxia and Western Digital in Yokkaichi City, Mie Prefecture, and Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture.

We expect that this large-scale investment will trigger extensive economic spillover effects in Mie and Iwate Prefectures and surrounding regions, such as regional investments and wage increases. In Kumamoto, where large-scale semiconductor-related investment projects have been proceeding, capital investment in the manufacturing industry has more than doubled compared with last year. Regarding wages, at TSMC’s factory in Kumamoto, the starting salary is more than 50,000 yen higher than the national average. I understand that those developments in Kumamoto are generating significant spillover effects in the recovery from the Kumamoto Earthquake and in the whole of the Kyushu region’s economy. I hope that this project will also trigger regional economic revitalization.

In the meantime, significant growth is expected for the memory chip market, including memory chips used for generative AI. I believe that the joint investment by Kioxia and Western Digital represents Japan-U.S. cooperation in fulfilling the responsibility for supplying the memory chips that the world needs. From the perspective of economic security as well, this is a project of great significance. As for detailed information, the administrative staff will provide a briefing.

That is all I have to say at the moment.

Last updated:2024-02-06