Japan to Restrict Semiconductor Equipment Exports

    Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images [via CNBC]

    The Facts

    • On Friday, Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan's trade and industry minister, announced that export controls will be imposed on 23 types of chipmaking equipment divided into six categories, requiring Japanese companies to seek export permissions for all regions.

    • The controls — reportedly meant to ensure the equipment isn't diverted for military purposes — include exceptions for the 42 territories Tokyo recognizes as having adequate export measures, including South Korea, Taiwan, and the US.

    The Spin

    Pro-China narrative

    Japan is capitulating to US pressure by formulating this discriminatory policy as Washington unilaterally weaponizes trade and technology issues against China in order to protect its own tech hegemony. But given the proven resilience of the Chinese tech sector, Japanese companies will suffer the most from Tokyo's decision to be a US pawn.

    Anti-China narrative

    Restricting Chinese access to advanced semiconductors is a matter of security to the democratic world. It’s crucial to halt China's development of advanced AI systems deployable for military and intelligence uses, and limiting its access to leading-edge chipmaking machinery from the US, Netherlands, and Japan will even the playing field in the mounting Cold War.

    Nerd narrative

    There's an 11% chance that chips covered by the 2022 US export controls will be exported to China before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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