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Japan May Opt for Milder Chip Curbs on China Than US: Lawmaker

“The United States is being strict, but there is a question of whether we have to exactly match that,” said former economy minister Akira Amari.

A chip factory in Japan
A chip factory in Japan. Photo: AFP


A Japanese lawmaker said on Wednesday that the country is unlikely to match strict US chip curbs on China in favour of lighter measures.

“The United States is being strict, but there is a question of whether we have to exactly match that. What we do share is a recognition of the concern over the equipment,” said Akira Amari, a former Liberal Democratic Party minister of economy trade and industry.

Japan last month agreed with the Netherlands and the United States to halt exports of equipment that China could use to manufacture advanced chips, bringing Tokyo and Amsterdam in line with sweeping restrictions announced by US President Joe Biden’s administration in October.

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The US wants to hobble Beijing’s bid to dominate global chip production and stop it acquiring semiconductors that could enhance its military power.

Any difference in the separate restrictions that Tokyo, Washington and the Netherlands implement, could be a political headache for Biden if it makes US equipment less competitive than those of its rivals.

SEMI, an industry group representing 2,500 members in the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing supply chain, this month also warned that export controls on China would not be effective unless US allies adopt curbs in line with the United States.

Amari said he had been briefed by the Japanese government on the deal, which only the United states has so far publicly acknowledged.

He declined to give details, but said specifics of the agreement, including what machinery would be subject to restrictions, had yet to be hammered out in talks.

“Governments and companies concerned with the issue will have to dig into it, and find where the line needs to be drawn,” Amari said.


  • Reuters, with additional editing from Alfie Habershon



Read more:


Chip Shortage Pushes Japan’s Subaru to Slash Output Target


Japan Seen Joining Ban on Chip-Making Tech Exports to China


US Blocking Export of 4G Chips, Items for China’s Huawei


Alfie Habershon

Alfie is a Reporter at Asia Financial. He previously lived in Mumbai reporting on India's economy and healthcare for data journalism initiative IndiaSpend, as well as having worked for London based Tortoise Media.


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