Microsoft Announces US$2.9 Billion Investment in AI and Cloud Infrastructure in Japan’s Digital Future

Microsoft Announces US$2.9 Billion Investment in AI and Cloud Infrastructure in Japan’s Digital Future

Washington D.C., April 9 – In a major boost for Japan’s technological ambitions, Microsoft pledged US$2.9 billion over the next two years to expand its cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure in the country. This investment, the largest in Microsoft’s 46-year history in Japan, signifies a significant commitment to the nation’s digital transformation.

The focus extends beyond just infrastructure. The tech giant also plans to upskill the Japanese workforce by training over 3 million people in AI skills within the next three years. This initiative highlights Microsoft’s recognition of the growing demand for AI expertise across various industries.

Training 3 million people to Expand Japan’s AI capability

Microsoft will invest in training 3 million full-time and part-time workers across Japan over the next three years fo the facility to foster innovation in AI and related fields, contributing to Japan’s position at the forefront of technological development.

These will be augmented by Microsoft’s AI coding assistant, GitHub Copilot. 

Opening Japan’s first Microsoft Research lab in Tokyo  

Further bolstering Japan’s technological prowess by establishing its first Microsoft Research Asia lab in the country, to focus on embodied AI and robotics, societal AI and wellbeing, and scientific discovery that aligns with Japan’s socioeconomic priorities.

Microsoft will provide US$10 million in resource grants over the next five years to both The University of Tokyo and the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence Research between Keio University and Carnegie Mellon University.

Strengthen Japan’s cybersecurity defenses 

Recognizing the increasing importance of cybersecurity, Microsoft also intends to deepen its collaboration with the Japanese government on this critical issue. This collaborative effort will play a vital role in safeguarding Japan’s digital infrastructure from cyber threats.

Microsoft’s investment comes at a time when Japan is actively pushing for advancements in AI and cloud computing. This US$2.9 billion infusion will significantly enhance the country’s digital capacity, providing businesses and researchers with access to advanced computing resources, including cutting-edge graphics processing units (GPUs) that are instrumental in accelerating AI workloads.

This comprehensive approach by Microsoft, encompassing infrastructure development, workforce skilling, research initiatives, and cybersecurity collaboration, demonstrates a strong commitment to empowering Japan’s digital future. The investment is expected to have a significant impact on Japan’s economic growth and technological competitiveness on the global stage.

Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan  

“As economic activities in the digital space increase, it is important for the Japanese industry as a whole to work with global companies like Microsoft that are equipped with a set of digital infrastructure. We appreciate Microsoft’s announcement of its new investment in Japan. Microsoft has made significant contributions to the social implementation of generative AI in Japan through various initiatives, and we look forward to further collaboration. We also look forward to deepening our cooperation in the field of cybersecurity.” 

Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President, Microsoft 

“Today’s announcement represents Microsoft’s most significant investment in Japan since we set roots here in 1978. These investments in digital infrastructure, AI skills, cybersecurity, and AI research are essential ingredients for Japan to build a robust AI Economy.” 

Miki Tsusaka, President, Microsoft Japan 

“We are honored to contribute to Japan and its future with our largest investment to date, technology and knowledge. In collaboration with our partners, Microsoft Japan is fully committed to supporting the people and organizations of Japan to solve social problems and achieve more.”

Kevin Scott, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of AI, Microsoft 

“The impact that AI is poised to create over the coming years has the potential to generate unprecedented societal benefit for the entire world. The steps we are taking today to empower Japanese citizens through AI technologies and programs—whether job training and skilling, improvements to infrastructure capacity, or new research investments—will in the aggregate help accelerate this process of beneficial innovation. We’re particularly excited for Microsoft Research’s global footprint to further expand into Japan, extending the ability for our world-class research efforts to both contribute to and benefit from local diversity of thought and talent.” 

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