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Japan said on Saturday it would provide TSMC with up to 732 billion yen ($4.86 billion) in additional subsidies to help it build a second chip manufacturing plant, as the Taiwanese company celebrated the opening of its first Japanese plant.

TSMC’s decision to produce chips in Japan has become a key element of Tokyo’s efforts to revive advanced semiconductor manufacturing and prepare industrial supply chains for disruption as tensions with neighboring China rise.

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Ken Saito said, “This chip is more advanced than the first factory and can be used for AI and autonomous driving, ensuring a stable supply of semiconductors in Japan.” The first factory opened in Kumamoto, Kyushu, Japan, hosted by TSMC founder Morris Chang.

The latest financial commitments, which will add to the funds provided to the world’s largest chipmaker for its first factory, could push taxpayer-backed subsidies to TSMC past 1 trillion yen.

TSMC, which is also expanding its business in the United States and Germany, plans to begin mass production in Japan at the end of this year. Total investment in the venture, including the second plant, will exceed $20 billion, according to the Taiwanese company.

Once complete, the two plants’ monthly production capacity will exceed 100,000 12-inch wafers, which TSMC will supply to technology companies and automakers, including Sony and Toyota Motor Corp.

Japan is also working with IBM to mass produce cutting-edge chips on the northern island of Hokkaido starting in 2027. and Rapidus, a domestic chip venture partnering with European chip research institute Imec.

© Thomson Reuters 2024

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