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US-China chip war: Japan plans to limit exports of some devices

The Japanese government plans to impose export restrictions on some computer chips after the US and the Netherlands take similar steps.

The measures apply to 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

Semiconductors, which power everything from cellphones to military equipment, have been at the center of a bitter dispute between the US and China.

China often refers to the US as a “technological hegemony” in response to export controls imposed by Washington.

However, the statement by Japan’s ministry of commerce and industry on Friday did not refer to China or the United States.

“We are fulfilling our responsibility as a technology nation to contribute to international peace and stability,” the ministry said.

The policy will be the subject of public comment, with plans to implement it in July.

Japanese Trade Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters the move was not coordinated with US restrictions.

“If our exports are not converted for military use, we will continue to export.” We believe the impact on business will be limited,” added Mr. Nishimura.

The announcement came as Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi was due to visit Beijing over the weekend.

Mr. Hayashi said he would meet his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang to “have frank and frank discussions to build a constructive and stable relationship.”

Japan’s restrictions apply to devices supplied by major tech companies, including Tokyo Electron and Nikon.

They will affect exports of everything from silicon wafer cleaning tools to immersion lithography machines.

The lithographic machine uses a laser to print tiny patterns on silicon as part of the microchip manufacturing process.

In October, Washington announced it would require licenses for companies exporting chips containing American tools or software to China, wherever they are manufactured.

The US has also asked the Netherlands and Japan to impose similar restrictions.

This month, the Dutch government announced it would impose export restrictions on its “most advanced” microchip technology to protect national security.

Dutch Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher said the steps would affect “particular technologies in the semiconductor manufacturing cycle.”

He added that the government had considered “technological developments and the geopolitical context” without naming Chinese or Dutch chip equipment maker ASML.

ASML is among the most important global microchip supply chain companies. It makes the machine that produces the most advanced chips in the world.

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