TOKYO -- Japan will provide as much as $1.8 billion in subsidies for a slate of storage battery and chip-related projects, Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Friday, marking Tokyo's latest push towards greater supply chain security.
The government plans to give up to 184.6 billion yen ($1.38 billion) in subsidies for eight storage battery-related proposals and up to 56.4 billion yen for two semiconductor-related projects, Nishimura told reporters.
Among the proposals that it will subsidize is a plan by Honda and battery maker GS Yuasa to invest about 430 billion yen to boost storage battery production, with the ministry providing up to 158.7 billion yen in subsidies for the project.
"We have great expectations that this will lead to the stable supply of storage batteries and the promotion of GX (green transformation)," Nishimura said.
The minister's comment came after the Nikkei newspaper reported on Thursday that Honda and GS Yuasa will team up to produce batteries for electric vehicles and homes.
Honda and GS Yuasa will start by building a new plant that will target a production capacity of at least 20 gigawatt hours, Nikkei reported, without giving details about where the plant would be built.
Honda and GS Yuasa declined to provide details, saying they planned to issue a news release later on Friday. "At this moment, what minister Nishimura said is everything," a GS Yuasa spokesperson told Reuters.
A joint venture, which the companies unveiled in January, would play a central role in the development of batteries and materials as well as capital investment, the Nikkei said.
Honda said in January that the joint venture was scheduled to be set up sometime this year.