The Japanese government has announced today plans to restrict exports of 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment joining the Netherlands and US efforts to hinder China's ability to make advanced chips.
The Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura told a news conference that the decision was reached to protect international safety. He said, "we are fulfilling our responsibility as a technological nation to contribute to international peace and stability,".He added that Japan wants to halt any use of its advanced technology being used for military purposes and does not have a specific country in mind. Nishimura said that Japan will impose export controls on six categories of equipment used in chip manufacturing, including cleaning, deposition, lithography, and etching.
Last October, the Biden administration announced a set of export controls and measures aimed to cut China's access to semiconductors chips. The export control was put in place immediately on the 7th of October 2022 in fear of weaponizing ‘‘supercomputers,’’ and semiconductor manufacturing equipment including the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and human rights abuses. The released set of controls said that China has mobilized vast resources to support its defense modernization, including the implementation of its military-civil fusion development strategy, in ways that are contrary to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.
Japan and the Netherlands in January agreed to join the US in restricting chipmaking equipment exports to China. The Dutch government announced plans to restrict chipmaking equipment exports via a letter to the country’s parliament this month. In the letter published on the 8th of March, written by the Dutch Foreign Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher it stated that the Dutch government wants to stop Dutch technology from being used in military systems or weapons of mass destruction.
He continued to say that the Dutch government has concluded that it is necessary for international security to expand the existing export control of specific semiconductor production equipment given the technological developments and the geopolitical context.
He added that the export control measures concern very specific technologies in the semiconductor production cycle and will also ensure the Netherlands' leading position in manufacturing the chips.
On the next day, the 9th of March, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning voiced China's disapproval of the Dutch measure. “We disapprove of the Dutch side’s interference through administrative means in the normal trade between Dutch and Chinese businesses and have made démarches to the Netherlands “, said Mao.
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