Weekly Japanese Industry and Policy News Nov. 11 - Nov 17, 2022

The EU-Japan Centre is pleased to start a new weekly service by publishing brief summary of the latest information from the Japanese governmental organizations & private companies/organizations. A couple of minutes reading to be informed about what is happening in Japan's policy, economy, EU-Japan relations, and innovation.

*Information is collected at the time of confirmation.


Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announces efforts to establish design and manufacturing infrastructure for next-generation semiconductors
On November 11, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced its efforts to establish a foundation for designing and manufacturing next-generation semiconductors in the latter half of the 2020s. According to this, a new research and development organization for next-generation semiconductor research will be established by the end of this year, and the name will be "Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC)". The company also announced that it has decided to select Rapidus Co., Ltd. for its research and development project. This foundation was established based on the agreement at the First Japan-U.S. Commercial and Industrial Partnership (JUCIP) Ministerial Meeting held in May this year.

METI website: Announcement Regarding Efforts Toward the Establishment of Design and Manufacturing Bases for Next-Generation Semiconductors (meti.go.jp)

Supercomputer “Fugaku” ranked 2nd in Top500
The supercomputer "Fugaku", which RIKEN (RIKEN) started with Fujitsu trial use in April 2020 and shared in March 2021, is ranked in the world supercomputer ranking "HPCG (High Performance Conjugate Gradient)" ranked No. 1 in "Graph500" for 6 consecutive years, No. 2 in "TOP500" and No. 3 in "HPL-AI". These rankings were announced on November 14 at SC22, an international conference on HPC (High Performance Computing) being held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, USA. Fugaku has held the top spot for four consecutive terms since June 2020, but lost the top to the US's “Frontier” in May of this year.

Fujitsu website: https://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/resources/news/press-releases/2022/1115-01.html

Developed a "soil biodegradable tree shelter" that returns to the soil
Sumitomo Forestry, Achilles, and GCJ announced on November 10 that they had jointly developed a "soil biodegradable tree shelter." "Soil Biodegradable Tree Shelter" uses biodegradable resin containing plant-derived raw materials as an alternative to polypropylene products. After use, it is naturally degraded by microorganisms in the soil in the forest, greatly reducing the environmental burden. It eliminates the need to carry out the shelter, which greatly reduces the CO2 generated during transportation and incineration, and reduces the burden on the workers who remove the shelter. These shelters are used to prevent deer and wild rabbits from eating trees that have just been planted.

SUMITOMO FORESTRY website (in Japanese): https://sfc.jp/information/news/2022/2022-11-10.html

Sumitomo Corporation Collaborates with UK CO2 Mineralization Startup
Sumitomo Corporation announced on November 10 that it will collaborate with British start-up Protostar Group, which provides CO2 mineralization services. CO2 mineralization is attracting attention from the viewpoint of permanence and stability because CO2 can be permanently fixed underground as a mineral. Protostar Group is currently working on the world's only CO2 mineralization using peridotite (the rock that makes up the Earth's interior). The Protostar Group operates under the brand name "44.01" and has already successfully demonstrated a small scale in the field. Starting with Oman, the company aims to develop its business around the world, with the goal of commercial CO2 mineralization by 2023 and 1 billion tons of CO2 by 2040. Especially in the Middle East, the United States, Europe, Japan, etc., it has been confirmed that peridotite exists near the surface, and suitable areas for CO2 mineralization are widely distributed.

Sumitomo Corporation website: https://sfc.jp/information/news/2022/2022-11-10.html

IHI has started considering the first green ammonia production and sales business in Dubai
On November 10, IHI announced that IHI and ENOC, a state-owned oil and gas company of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai and surrounding emirates, would start manufacturing and producing green ammonia from renewable energy using solar resources. First, they will start examining and investigating the business feasibility of sales. If realized, it will be the first green ammonia project in Dubai. The two companies will manufacture green ammonia at multiple existing oil terminals owned by ENOC's wholly-owned subsidiary HTL, and sell ammonia for the purpose of exporting to the Japanese and Asian markets, as well as local power generation and fuel supply for ships.

IHI website: https://www.ihi.co.jp/en/all_news/2022/resources_energy_environment/1198094_3488.html

International standard (ISO 34502) for safety evaluation of automated driving systems proposed by Japan was issued
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced on November 16 that an international standard proposed by Japan regarding procedures and scenarios for evaluating the safety of automated driving systems had issued. The feature of Japan's proposal is a more feasible "scenario-based approach" for deriving critical scenarios. This is a method of decomposing each element of an automated driving system into three elements of "recognition", "judgment", and "operation". And it systematically organizes the events that lead to danger for each, leading to a scenario without omission. If the number of scenarios becomes nearly infinite, optimal verification work will be hindered, but this approach makes it easy to consider just enough scenarios for safety assurance.

METI website (in Japanese):https://www.meti.go.jp/press/2022/11/20221116006/20221111005.html

Rapidus selected by NEDO for “Post 5G Information and Communication Systems Infrastructure Enhancement R&D Project/Development of Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (Commissioned)”
Rapidus Corporation, a company that researches, develops, designs, manufactures, and sells advanced logic semiconductors, announced that it has been selected by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) to participate in the “Post 5G Information and Communication Systems Infrastructure Enhancement R&D Project / Development of Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (Commissioned).” Through this research and development commissioned by NEDO, Rapidus will promote development of 2nm generation semiconductors and establish mass production technology (short TAT manufacturing technology based on a new manufacturing process) in Japan in cooperation with IBM and others through strategic international collaboration. After completion of the commissioned research, the company intends to commercialize as a domestic foundry featuring short TAT production to secure the domestic supply of advanced logic semiconductors, which are key to economic security and to strengthening Japan’s industrial competitiveness.

Rapidus Corp website: https://www.rapidus.inc/news_topics/information/press1en/

The announcement of Joint Statement on “Just Energy Transition Partnership” with Indonesia
On November 15, Japan, the United States, other partner countries, and the Republic of Indonesia cuncurred and published the Joint Statement on Just Energy Transition Partnership (Indonesia JETP), which will support Indonesia's efforts in the transition from coal to renewable energy. The announcement of the Indonesia JETP, which was co-led by Japan and the United States, will demonstrate Japan's proactive contribution to the decarbonization of Asia. Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio, who attended the side event on infrastructure investment, held on the occasion of the G20 Bali Summit, together with President Joko Widodo of the Republic of Indonesia and President Joe Biden of the United States, expressed his welcome to the launch of the Indonesia JETP. Prior to the PGII event, a photo shooting session was held by the three leaders of Japan, the United States, and Indonesia.

MOFA website: https://www.rapidus.inc/news_topics/information/press1en/

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