The Japanese government intends to enter the global quantum computing race by putting its first domestically produced quantum computer into service within the current fiscal year ending March 2023, a source close to the matter said Thursday.

The new strategy includes plans to establish four quantum research centers across the country, and could be finalized later this month, the source said.

It comes after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party submitted proposals on March 24 to expand investment in quantum computing and other new technologies such as artificial intelligence.

The United States, China and other countries are in the middle of fierce competition over the development of quantum computing, which performs calculations by using the properties of quantum physics at the scale of atomic particles such as electrons and photons. It is expected to have a myriad of applications, including as a more efficient research tool for cryptography and the development of new medicines.

There are several proposed bases for quantum computing research — places to bolster the country's competitive edge and cultivate a workforce adept with the technology. The places proposed are Tohoku University, the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and the National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology.

The government strategy aims to reach 10 million quantum technology users in Japan by 2030 and to create an environment where it can be used in such varied fields as medicine, banking and new materials development.