Japan and the United States will agree to commit to improved research and production of semiconductors at a leaders' summit set for May 23, a Japanese government source said Saturday.
The expected agreement between Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden will aim for a framework ensuring availability of domestic semiconductor stocks in emergencies and deeper economic security cooperation between the United States and Japan, according to the source.
Dependence on South Korean and Taiwanese output is of increasing concern as China expands its military power and influence in East Asia.
A joint statement is also being considered, the source said, with adjustments under way to also refer to increased cooperation in new defense areas including in outer space and cyberspace.
The coronavirus pandemic brought worldwide shortages of semiconductors into focus. How to reliably obtain the key technology when war, disasters and other contingencies emerge has become a major issue.
Semiconductors are used in a diversity of electrical products and devices. While Japan had half of the world's semiconductor market share in the late 1980s, in recent years it accounts for only about 10 percent.
During the summit, Kishida and Biden are expected to agree on production, research and development of sophisticated semiconductors, and creating a system for the countries to share parts supplies for domestic manufacturing, according to the source.
Both governments are also moving toward creating a working group for joint research of cutting-edge semiconductors, the source added.
Washington is preparing to launch its Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, known as IPEF, to coincide with Biden's first visit to Japan since taking office.
The Tokyo-backed plan to respond to China's multinational "Belt and Road" economic initiative is designed to facilitate fair trade and improved supply chains on products including semiconductors.
Kishida called the government's previous semiconductor policy a "failure" during a Friday meeting with technology industry officials from Japan and the United States. He added that he wants the leaders' summit to be an opportunity to accelerate both countries' cooperation.© KYODO