News analysis

From 40nm to 2nm in five years: Japan banks on ‘last chance’ to regain dominance in chips

Japan now hopes to reverse its “lost decades” in chips production with Rapidus, a new government-backed venture. PHOTO: REUTERS
Passersby walking past an advertisement for Toshiba Corp in Tokyo. Toshiba Corp's second postponement of its annual results due to newfound accounting errors should be met with a tough response from regulators, Japanese lawmakers urged on September 2, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files REUTERS
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TOKYO – Three decades ago, Japan was the world leader in semiconductors, controlling half of the global market share.

But its edge was blunted, first in a trade war with the United States in the 1980s, and then weak government support as Tokyo misjudged the demand for smaller and more cutting-edge chips.

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