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Japan aims for 10 million quantum computing users by 2030 under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s “new capitalism” plan

By Sandra Helsel posted 13 Apr 2022

(Asia.Nikkei) Akira Oikawa and Mao Kawano, write that “Japan plans to bring into service its first homegrown quantum computer into service by the end of March 2023 and have 10 million people using the technology by 2030.” Inside Quantum Technology summarizes their article below:

The plan will be included in Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s signature “new capitalism” action plan, as well as in the government’s annual basic economic policy framework. The first homegrown machine will mark the first step in the ambitious plan. The government-backed Riken institute is leading development efforts. The goal is to have equipment ready for use by the end of the current fiscal year in March 2023, according to the Cabinet Office. The draft strategy sets a goal of 10 million quantum technology users by the year 2030. The number, based on how the internet became mainstream, is considered the threshold before the amount of users begins to explode.

The government will add two new research sites to explore industrial applications to bring the total locations to 10.
One of the two will be housed at Tohoku University in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, on the northeastern coast of Japan. It will train personnel and support research and development. The other new site, at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, will serve as a hub for advancing joint research by global scientists.

Training workers versed in using quantum computing for business applications will be necessary for promoting wide use by corporations. The draft strategy envisions support for quantum technology startups through a state-owned fund.

The strategy deems quantum computing will be at the heart of future cross-border competition for hegemony. Japan looks to boost its competitive advantage on the international stage along with its economic security. Success will depend on the participation by the private sector. The Japanese government sees wide-spread adoption of the technology by the private sector as key to keeping up with the fierce global race for technological dominance.

Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990.  She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.


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