Japanese restrictions on exports of advanced chip-manufacturing equipment took effect Sunday, in line with U.S.-led efforts to stymie China's ability to develop high-end semiconductors capable of being used for military purposes.
With the revision of a trade ministry ordinance under the foreign exchange law, Japan added 23 chip-manufacturing items that require approval for export. The move has triggered a backlash from China, though Japan did not specify that the world's second-largest economy is the main target of the export restrictions.
Beijing has said it will curb exports of gallium and germanium, two rare earth metals crucial for chip production, next month in apparent retaliation for U.S. semiconductor export restrictions targeting China.
In October last year, the United States rolled out a sweeping set of export controls on certain high-end chips that China could use to train artificial intelligence systems and modernize its military, while asking Japan and the Netherlands, which possess advanced chip-manufacturing technologies, to follow suit.
The Dutch government has also announced new restrictions on exports of advanced semiconductor equipment.
Under the new regulations, Japan's list of restricted items now includes equipment for cleaning, checkups and lithography, a technology used for creating complex patterns that can be etched into semiconductor wafers, which is essential in producing cutting-edge chips.
The Japanese government has simplified the process for exporting such equipment to 42 countries and regions, including the U.S., a key security ally of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
About 10 Japanese companies involved in manufacturing such equipment are likely to be affected by the regulations.
However, industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura has said the impact on domestic companies will likely be limited as the export controls target "extremely advanced" technology.