Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Why the US needs Japan’s help on China chips restrictions


WASHINGTON — When the Biden administration unveiled aggressive export controls in October aimed at blocking China from becoming a global leader in advanced semiconductors it was missing a key ingredient: agreement from US allies to impose their own matching restrictions.

Persuading Japan to join the US effort, which limits Chinese access to US chipmaking technology and cuts China off from certain semiconductor chips made anywhere in the world, will be high on US President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s to-do list when he meets with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Washington on Friday.

American officials, touting an ever-closer strategic alignment with Japan, are praising Tokyo’s plan for the biggest Japanese military buildup since World War Two as rivalry with China in the region grows.

But while Japan is broadly in-line with the goals of the Mr. Biden administration’s expanded US export controls, Mr. Kishida’s government has been vague about the extent to which it will join in.

Speaking in Washington last week, Japan’s minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura, promised to work more closely with Washington on export controls, although he did not say whether Tokyo would match sweeping US restrictions.

The hesitation is understandable — Japan is a top producer of the specialized tooling equipment needed to manufacture advanced chips and its companies hold 27% of global market share, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. Tokyo Electron, Japan’s leading chip manufacturing equipment maker, relies on China for about a quarter of its revenue.

The other top producers of chip-making gear are the United States and the Netherlands, home to ASML, another of the world’s biggest makers of chip-making tools.


US officials are quick to play down the differences between the United States, Japan and other allies.

“I think there’s a very, very similar vision of the challenges,” a senior US administration official told Reuters on Wednesday, adding that Japanese export restrictions may not be exactly the same as the U.S. controls.

“But I don’t think the Japanese question the basic premise that we need to be working closely together on this.”

A US Commerce Department official said in October he expected a deal with allies in the near term.

Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte will travel to Washington to meet Biden on Tuesday and discuss “cooperation on critical technologies and shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the White House said on Thursday.

Still, said Daniel Russel, a former top US diplomat for Asia, a gap remains between the US and Japanese positions.

“Kishida wants the US to take a Goldilocks approach that is tough enough to deter Chinese assertiveness, but cautious enough to allow Japan’s business interests to thrive,” he said.

Behind the US drive for high-tech export controls is rising alarm about China’s military buildup and its effort to outpace the United States in technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

Fearing that this will yield a military edge for an increasingly assertive China, US officials hope that keeping the most sophisticated chips – and the tools needed to make them — out of China’s hands will slow the country’s progress on advanced technologies.

But unless Japan and the Netherlands impose their own export controls, China will soon perfect other ways of getting the equipment it needs, even as American companies stand to lose market share.

A US deal with the Netherlands could also be within reach. One toolmaking industry executive familiar with that country’s sector said that if the Dutch government imposed similar export controls on its industry, ASML would probably not suffer a severe impact due to its extensive network of customers beyond China.

If US diplomacy succeeds, its policies could have the intended impact, argues Chris Miller, author of “Chip War” and an associate professor at Tufts University.

With Japan on board, particularly in terms of chip manufacturing tools, the United States could put up “a really large number of road blocks to China’s ability to advance its own domestic chipmaking,” Mr. Miller said.

That would have knock-on effects for Beijing’s other tech ambitions, including in artificial intelligence.

Japanese companies can make up for lost China business by expanding elsewhere, such as Southeast Asia, a chip industry source familiar with internal discussions about export restrictions said.

“For better or worse, Japan’s semiconductor strategy is moving in accordance with what the United States wants.” — Reuters

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!


Editor’s Pick

<?xml encoding=”utf-8″ ??> Aspect is the well-known property maintenance company in London that is recognised for its signature yellow and blue vans, which are...

Editor’s Pick

<?xml encoding=”utf-8″ ??> The Wakelet Microsoft 365 Children’s Parliament backed by The Express, is proud to announce that James Caan CBE, the former Chairman...


THE TOWERING BUILDINGS of Makati’s central business district are seen in the background in this May 13, 2020 file photo. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL...


A Philippines peso note is seen in this illustration on June 2, 2017. — REUTERS THE PHILIPPINES could benefit from the proposed Maharlika Investment...


PASSENGERS queue before the check-in counters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 after flights were canceled due to technical issues on...


By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter METRO PACIFIC Investment Corp. (MPIC) expects to generate P500 million in revenue from its dairy business by 2025,...

You May Also Like


COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of Filipinos across different groups all over the archipelago. From frontline workers, parents balancing...


REUTERS By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter The country’s foreign exchange buffers slightly increased as of end-October as the value of the central bank’s...


BW FILE PHOTO GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to...


KARASOLAR.COM TENA, Ecuador — Ecuador’s rainforest Achuar people say their ancestors long dreamed of a “fire canoe” or “electric fish” that would let them...

Disclaimer: Respect, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2022 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.