The government has decided to provide financial support for domestic manufacturers to develop technologies for the post-fifth-generation mobile communication network standard.
The aim is to better compete with China, which is far ahead of other nations in leading the current 5G large capacity, and ultrahigh-speed standards, The aim is to prevent information leaks and other dangers by developing key technologies in Japan to reduce security threats.
An announcement on the government policy for development assistance was expected as early as Monday. Of the ¥110 billion funds set up in the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization in the supplementary budget for fiscal 2019, about ¥67 billion will be earmarked for it.
5G and later standards are expected to be used in a wide range of fields, including automatic driving, factory automation, and telemedicine. 5G began operation in Japan this spring and is 100 times as fast as the 4G, enabling ultra-high-speed mobile communication to be a key component of the so-called Internet of Things.
The government plans to support the development of key technologies, such as communications infrastructure and fiber-optic networks. To provide support, it will let domestic technology companies that excel in these fields compete with one another, and will judge in about 18 months the technologies and competitiveness of those companies. The government plans to continue supporting only those that are outstanding.
According to government sources, Fujitsu Ltd. and NEC Corp. are expected to participate in mobile telecommunication infrastructure, while Fujitsu, NEC, and NTT Electronics Corp. are seen participating in fiber-optic networks.
The 5G-related market is expected to expand significantly in the future, and the global market for infrastructure alone was estimated in one survey to exceed ¥4 trillion. Huawei Technologies Co. and other Chinese companies accounted for more than 40% in the global market for mobile infrastructure up to 4G in 2018. Japan, in contrast, is remarkably behind — Fujitsu and NEC each accounted for less than 1%.
From the viewpoint of national security, it is urgent to establish a reliable information and communications system.
The United States has already demanded that Huawei Technologies products be removed because of high-security risks, such as leaks of confidential information and cyber-attacks. If Japan’s allies are victimized by cyber-attacks with the large capacity, ultrahigh-speed 5G, “it would cause huge damage and jeopardize a country’s governing ability,” a government official said.
The government plans to promote technological development in cooperation with the United States and other countries.