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People use their smartphones on a street in Tokyo. A new bill approved by Japan’s cabinet shows how policymakers are alarmed over China’s influence in 5G mobile technology development. Photo: Reuters

Japan approves bill to help firms develop 5G, drone technologies

  • The government will submit the bill to parliament, with the aim to bring it to effect around summer

Japan’s cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill to support companies to develop secure 5G mobile networks and drone technologies, as Tokyo policymakers grow wary of the increasing influence of China’s hi-tech sector.

Companies which develop such technologies will be given access to low-interest rate loans from government-affiliated financial institutions, according to the bill.

That access will be based on whether the plans of these firms fulfil standards on cybersecurity.

The bill also said companies that adopt 5G technologies can get tax incentives if they meet standards set by the government.

The unintended consequence of US campaign against Huawei could be a global split in technology standards

The government will submit the bill to the National Diet, the country’s parliament, with the aim to bring it to effect around summer.

The United States has been waging a campaign against Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies, which Washington has warned could spy on customers for Beijing.

Huawei has repeatedly denied those claims.
The US and some allies, including Australia, have shut Huawei out of 5G mobile network roll-out plans, while others such as Britain have allowed the Chinese firm to take a limited role in their 5G infrastructure initiatives.

Last December, Japan unveiled tax measures aimed at encouraging companies to spend their cash piles on start-ups and other investments, a move aimed at helping stimulate the country’s slowing economy.

That effort was also geared towards helping domestic firms compete with China’s hi-tech advances, including 5G technology.

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