[News] TSMC’s 2nd Plant in Japan May Receive Up to 900 Billion JPY Subsidy

TSMC is in the process of constructing a semiconductor factory in Kikuyo-cho, Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan (referred to as Plant 1). Production is expected to commence in December 2024. Besides this facility, TSMC has shown interest in establishing a second plant in Japan (referred to as Plant 2). According to Japanese reports, the government is considering providing TSMC with a substantial subsidy of up to 900 billion Japanese Yen for Plant 2.

On October 4, during the Public-Private Partnership Forum on Increasing Domestic Investment led by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, plans were announced for economic measures to be finalized within October. The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan (METI) will request a budget of 3.4 trillion Japanese Yen to establish three funds supporting semiconductor production and research and development. These funds are the ” Research and Development Project of the Enhanced Infrastructures for Post-5G Information and Communication Systems,” the “Specified Semiconductor Funding Program,” and the “Ensuring Stable Supply Support Fund.”

As reported by Asahi Shimbun, sources suggest that the METI deems it necessary to grant 900 billion Japanese Yen in subsidies for TSMC’s proposed Plant 2, nearly 600 billion Japanese Yen for the “Rapidus” national team aiming to produce next-gen semiconductor chips domestically, and 700 billion Japanese Yen for traditional chips like Sony CMOS image sensors.

The Japanese government will allocate the required funds for these economic measures in the 2023 fiscal year supplementary budget. If the METI’s budget request is approved, the budget for semiconductor-elated activities in the 2023 fiscal year supplementary budget (3.4 trillion Japanese Yen) will be 2.6 times higher than that in the 2022 fiscal year supplementary budget (1.3 trillion Japanese Yen).

The Kishida administration also announced plans to ease land restrictions for crucial manufacturing facilities such as semiconductor plants during the forum. As early as December, local governments will be able to issue development permits for agricultural land, forests, and other areas.

Before that, local governments could only grant permits for industries related to food logistics, data centers, and plant facilities. Now, this is being expanded to include vital strategic materials. Furthermore, changing the land category from agricultural land often required approvals from multiple government departments, a process that could take more than a year. In the future, these procedures are expected to be shortened to around four months.

(Image: Briáxis F. Mendes (孟必思), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)