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Indo-Pacific tech news, October 2023
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Japan: September 2023

Japan’s technology news headlines in September 2023 touched on items and issues including semiconductor and chip manufacturing developments, Japan’s growing involvement in wider ASEAN issues, hydrogen energy moves from Toyota, semicon partnerships between Japan, India and Canada, and more.

Hit the technology news headlines below to read each article in full.

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Japan and semiconductors

CSIS: Japan Seeks to Revitalize Its Semiconductor Industry

  • Japan: Gov’t-backed Rapidus Corp hires over 200 in move to create cutting-edge chip foundry by 2027, potentially challenging Taiwan’s TSMC if successful
  • Japan: PayPay payment app files more patents than Japan’s big 3 banks combined, in part to block patent trolls
  • Japan to boost cooperation with SEA nations across transport infrastructure, cybersecurity and more, alongside training for 5000 in maritime law enforcement
  • Japan: Gov’t-backed Rapidus breaks ground on Hokkaido facility, aiming for 2nm chip wafer plant online by 2025, and with engineers now studying with IBM
  • Japan’s Toyota builds hydrogen production facility at California logistics center capable of delivering fuel for more than 200 Toyota Mirai fuel cell cars per day

A brief video intro to Mujin and MujinController, allowing multiple automation robots from different providers to be run from a single, unified system in real time

  • Japan: ‘Rapidus envisions a chipmaking cluster spanning coast to coast, with easy access to multiple ports…’
  • Japan External Trade Org’n preps for launch of Global Startup Acceleration Program, aiming to boost overseas expansion of Japanese startups, with 100 startups selected to participate
  • An overview of Japan and India’s growing semiconductor industry partnerships, with both nations pursuing tech self-reliance and innovation-driven growth
  • Japan: Gov’t to set dedicated and priority lanes outside Tokyo, preparing for level 4 autonomous driving and aiming for similar lanes nationwide once safety is assured
  • Japanese public and private entities to develop Canada supply chains for EVs, encompassing mineral extraction and processing, and battery production, with Canadian gov’t support

The first expected area of cooperation involves the extraction of nickel and lithium in Canada by the state-owned Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security and others. Though Canada boasts large reserves of these minerals, it faces technical and human resource challenges in increasing production capacity.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Canada has one of the world’s largest lithium reserves — about half of that in China — but its production volume remains around 2% of China’s. Cooperation with Japan is aimed at increasing production.

Japanese battery and materials producers hope to process minerals mined in Canada and build factories for batteries that use those minerals.

  • Japan: Schools in Kumamoto purchased 2 mechanical assistants to help children regain confidence in dealing with teachers and classmates, seeing truancy rise post-COVID
  • A deep-dive look at Japan’s Soramitsu, low-profile blockchain firm behind projects including Cambodia’s Bakong digital currency
  • Japan’s Mitsui trading firm to take 40% stake in Taiwan’s 73-turbine Hai Long Offshore Wind Power Project, with Canada’s Northland Power participating
  • Japan’s Incubate Fund hits 1st close of 3rd fund with target of $50M for seed-stage investments, looking at India and South East Asia investments
  • Japan: Astroscale won $25.5M contract from US Space Force to develop in-orbit service satellite capable of refueling other satellites, removal of debris and more
2023 Asia Pacific Regional Security

2023 Asia Pacific Regional Security – Key trends

  • Japan: A quick look at Zip Infrastructure, aiming to beat traffic congestion with cost-effective electric-power ‘sky trams’
  • Japan: Toregem Biopharma to trial antibody-based drug aimed at stimulating the growth of new teeth, activating dormant ‘tooth buds’
  • Japan: US Space Force may establish unit in Japan, expanding on Hawaii unit and subordinate unit in South Korea
  • A brief look at growing ties between Japan and Canada in lithium technologies
  • India’s Adani inks JV with Japan’s Kowa conglomerate for green hydrogen products in Japan, Taiwan and Hawaii, with up to $50BN set for 10-year investment in hydrogen market
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