India, Japan explore strategic ties in semiconductors, critical technologies
India, Japan explore strategic ties in semiconductors, critical technologies

New Delhi: Indian and Japanese officials engaged in discussions exploring potential collaborations in critical sectors like semiconductors and the establishment of robust supply chains. The primary goal of these talks was to achieve a $35.9 billion Japanese investment in India by 2027.

During the meeting, Foreign Ministers S. Jaishankar and Yoshimasa Hayashi discussed enhancing cooperation in defense equipment and technology. The discussions took place as part of a two-day visit by Hayashi to the Indian capital, as reported by AP.

The conflict in Ukraine involving Russia has severely impacted the global supply of components and raw materials needed for various products, ranging from automobiles to computer chips.

According to a statement from the External Affairs Ministry, "Hayashi and Jaishankar also emphasized the crucial role of a strong partnership between India and Japan in ensuring an open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region that is inclusive and rules-based."

Within the context of their discussions, they explored cooperation within multilateral and plurilateral frameworks, including the Quad grouping involving the United States and Australia. The main objective of this coalition is to address the increasing challenges posed by China's assertive actions in the region.

Jaishankar and Hayashi expressed satisfaction over the enhancement of defense and security cooperation between India and Japan, which includes frequent exercises and dialogues involving all three services, as per the statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aspirations of establishing a domestic chipmaking industry faced a possible setback recently when electronics giant Foxconn withdrew from a $19.5 billion semiconductor joint venture with Indian mining conglomerate Vedanta Ltd.

On July 21, India and Japan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on semiconductor development, encompassing design, manufacturing, equipment research, and talent development.

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw hailed the agreement as a substantial step towards creating a resilient complete value chain.

"The MoU covers five fronts, namely semiconductor design, manufacturing, equipment research, talent development, and bringing resilience to the semiconductor supply chain," said Vaishnaw.

He added that agreements like the US-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) and the one with Japan provided clear directional support when industries from the respective nations engage in talks. The government's strategy is now evidently focused on supporting industries in India, whether collaborating with the US or Japan, he said.

The Japan MoU follows investments from Micron Technology, which recently announced the establishment of a semiconductor unit in India with an investment of $2.75 billion, and Applied Materials, which is planning to set up a collaborative R&D center with an investment of $400 million.

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