Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan stated that Japan will revise the export control measures under the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law to strengthen export control on 23 types of high-performance semiconductor manufacturing equipment in six categories on March 31, 2023. The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China Chamber of International Commerce hereby solemnly declare against it and firmly oppose it.
The scope of Japan's proposed revision is broad, whose provisions are quite unclear and opaque. Besides, the items thereof have already exceeded the usual controlling range, in which a lot of civilian-purpose items are included, even items shall not be controlled as explicitly provided in Wassenaar Arrangement, such scope has be far beyond the scope made by international norms and other countries. It is noticeable that Japan's proposed revision is targeting at semiconductor manufacturing equipment, which cannot be used for military purposes per se, while its products generally are used for consumer electronics, there is no military elements involved.
Under the name of so-called “existence of risks of hindering the maintenance of international security and peace”, Japan is actually taking discriminatory measures against China's semiconductor industry, which obviously violates international rules. Although Japanese side claims that the proposed revision is not against any specific country, Japan will adopt a case-by-case approval licensing procedure and method except Japan’s 42 friendly countries/regions. China and other countries/regions who are not in the 42 names’ list will encounter obstacles of discriminatory measures set by Japan, which can be a violation of WTO obligations such as the most favored nation treatment principle and quantity restriction principle. Besides, the proposed revision bears some problems such as hasty introduction of legislative procedures, vagueness in expression of technical indicators, and so on; it also bears obvious neglect of the opinions of relevant enterprises, which shall cause difficulties for the compliance behavior of enterprises in related activities.
China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the largest trade and investment promotion organization in China, and the China Chamber of International Commerce, the organization with the largest number of members and the greatest influence in China, hereby advocate economic and trade cooperation and scientific and technological exchanges between China and Japan in the semiconductor field, so as to push forward win-win development in the semiconductor industry between the two countries. Japan's proposed revision once comes into effective, the economic and technological cooperation and exchanges in the semiconductor field between China and Japan shall be shadowed by significant adverse impact, which not only will lead to losses to the economic interests of entities in marketplace between China and Japan, but also will disrupt the global semiconductor industry supply chain, further reduce the overall potential of competition and development in the industry. We have submitted our opinion to the Japanese side, calling on reasonable opinion to be effectively heard by Japanese government, who shall consider the control measures in the proposed revision with discretion, and then make a decision that is in line with the common interests of the semiconductor industry between China and Japan.