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Taiwan’s TSMC faces labor shortage for new Japan plant

Japan's current measures against Omicron variant might spell trouble if they last too long

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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC) headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC) headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is facing a shortage of labor in Japan for its new joint venture with Sony in Kumamoto, reports said Thursday (Nov. 2).

The US$7 billion (NT$194.22 billion) project with Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation was scheduled to be built in 2022, with chip production to launch in 2024, the Liberty Times reported.

However, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, the recruitment drive for the factory was bound to overlap with new NAND Flash projects by former Toshiba unit Kioxia in central Japan and DRAM production plans by Micron Technology Inc. in Hiroshima.

In order to solve a similar shortage at its plant in Arizona, TSMC sent hundreds of technical experts from Taiwan to help out, Nikkan reported. The world’s largest contract chipmaker might take a similar approach for the Kumamoto project, if Japan’s current measures banning foreign visitors in order to prevent the COVID-19 Omicron variant from expanding do not last too long, or the plan might meet problems, according to the report.