Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan's Minister of Economy Trade and Industry, addressed an assembly of the University of Tokyo students on July 4, unveiling Japan's strategic plans to establish itself as a hub for leading artificial intelligence (AI) companies.
He emphasised Japan's dreams and efforts in laying a solid foundation for AI development, by creating an ecosystem conducive to cutting-edge technology, the country will attract and facilitate the world’s top AI companies. He added that it will incorporate investing in profitable startups and big enterprises, as well as pushing forward discussions on universal basic income as AI makes more jobs obsolete. “People will have more time” when robots, drones, self-driving vehicles and other devices do more as AI evolves, he said.
Furthermore, Nishimura stated, “I hope to create a company in Japan that surpasses Nvidia,” as he talked about the country’s capacity to navigate development in the AI training processors, the category led by graphics chipmaker Nvidia, the world’s most valuable chip company as it took an early stake on Artificial Intelligence.
Similarly, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has intensified his support for the domestic semiconductor industry, capitalising that changing geopolitical priorities to revive Japan's leadership position in chip manufacturing. The country is making significant strides by allocating billions of dollars in sponsorships, with the goal of tripling its production by 2030. In addition to it, a government-backed fund is working diligently to strengthen Japan's chip materials supply chain.
In retrospect, Japan has conducted more extensive conferences on AI’s impact on society longer than most. This year, the country is drafting guidelines for generative AI usage and is ensuring that it does not hinder the progress of AI. "It's not an all-or-nothing choice," said Kishida.
SoftBank Group's founder, Masayoshi Son, expressed enthusiasm for attending the convention. Notably, in June, he revealed that Vision Fund is actively pursuing new investment opportunities, despite incurring substantial losses from previous high-stakes AI ventures.
He said, “We need to discuss what it means to be human, when we no longer are the most intelligent animated being on the planet, This is the time for Japan to pour all its efforts into AI.”