Tokyo, July 3 (BNA): Industry chief Terry Breton said Monday that the European Union will deepen cooperation with Japan in the field of semiconductors as countries move to strengthen control over vital technology for the defence, electronics and automotive sectors.
Breton said the EU and Japan will work together to monitor the chip supply chain and facilitate the exchange of researchers and engineers. Reuters reports that the EU will also support Japanese semiconductor companies considering operating within the bloc.
“We think it’s very important to secure the semiconductor supply chain,” Breton told Reuters in Tokyo, where he is discussing cooperation in chips and artificial intelligence with the government and companies.
Japan is offering subsidies to revitalize the chip industry, which retains an advantage in materials and equipment but has lost overall global market share, while a Japanese government-backed fund last week agreed to buy photoresist JSR Corp (4185.T) for $6.4 billion. To drive integration into the industry.
Japan is also backing chip foundry Rapidus, whose executives are scheduled to meet Breton on Tuesday.
“I think it’s a really important initiative and it goes in the right direction,” he said of the foundry project.
Rapidus’ plans to produce high-end chips rely on support from Belgium-based research firm imec and IBM (IBM.N).
The deepening of EU-Japan cooperation comes as the bloc vows to reduce its dependence on China, which aims to increase its capabilities in cutting-edge technology such as chips.
“We’ve made it clear we just want to de-risk,” Britton said.
Breton also met Japan’s Minister for Digital Affairs Taro Kono, Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Takeaki Matsumoto, and Minister of State for Economic Trade and Industry Fusai Ohta, in the first-ever ministerial talks for the EU-Japan Digital Partnership.
In a joint statement, they said they agreed to cooperate in undersea cable delivery, semiconductors and cybersecurity, and in other areas of the digital economy.
In a subsequent press conference, Breton said that most of the discussion was about artificial intelligence. He said another round of talks would be held in Brussels in the first half of next year.
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