Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported on Saturday (February 4) that the Japanese government is preparing to amend relevant foreign exchange regulations to restrict exports of high-end chip manufacturing equipment to China starting this spring. Kyodo said the new regulations would not name China to reduce the risk of Chinese retaliation. The report did not specify the source of the news.
A few days ago, both Japan and the Netherlands have stated that they will join the United States in stopping the export of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China, such as equipment made by Nikon of Japan and Asmer of the Netherlands. The purpose of the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands to jointly sanction China is to prevent China from developing advanced chips to strengthen its military power.
However, so far, only Washington has acknowledged that the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands have reached this agreement, but has not announced the specific content of the agreement. If the news from Kyodo News that the Japanese government has begun to act is true, it will further confirm the authenticity of the three-nation agreement.
The United States, Japan, and the Netherlands held two days of talks in Washington late last month, with the three countries agreeing to jointly enforce semiconductor export controls to China. It is reported that Japan and the Netherlands will announce in the next few weeks that they will implement the dialogue chip export ban issued by the United States in October last year. The tripartite alliance between the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands is expected to completely block China’s ability to purchase the equipment needed to manufacture cutting-edge chips.
But officials from all three countries have declined to speak publicly about the agreement. Dutch Prime Minister Rutte said, “This topic is very sensitive and the Dutch government will communicate actively, that is to say, we will communicate within a very limited scope.” Japanese Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura also said he was unwilling to comment on the diplomatic talks. Asia Times quoted people familiar with the situation as saying that the implementation of the agreement will take several months.
According to the Indian media First Post (First Post) report, after winning against Japan and the Netherlands, the United States began to work on South Korea, asking this ally of the United States in Asia to also join the Chip Four Alliance (Chip 4 Alliance) promoted by the United States. , Pushing China out of the global technology supply chain. The members of the chip quadrilateral alliance include the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
South Korea and China have close trade ties in the semiconductor field. If South Korea joins the quartet, China will retaliate against South Korea and cause considerable losses to the Korean semiconductor industry. So far, South Korea has not made it clear that it will join the four-party alliance to contain China in the field of chip manufacturing. However, experts believe that if South Korean chip companies continue to cooperate with China, they are likely to be sanctioned by the United States. Since the United States holds some core technologies and key technology patents in chip manufacturing, South Korean companies are unable to confront the United States.