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AWS to invest $15bn in cloud computing in Japan

January 19, 2024, /Data Center Dynamics/ - Amazon Web Services (AWS) is planning to invest 2.26 trillion yen ($15.24 billion) in expanding its cloud computing infrastructure in Japan by 2027.

As part of this investment, the company will seek to expand its data center facilities in Tokyo and Osaka

The cloud giant previously invested 1.51 trillion yen (~$10.2bn) between 2011 and 2022 in the country. Yearly, this works out at just under $1bn spent per year. The new announcement will see this increase to more than $5bn a year for the next three years.

"The adoption of digital technology has become a source of a country’s competitiveness,” said Takuya Hirai, former digital minister and current chair of headquarters for the promotion of a digital society in Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party.

“The development of digital infrastructure in Japan is key to strengthening the country's industrial competitiveness, and data centers play an important role to this end. It promotes the use of important technologies such as AI [artificial intelligence] and improves the capabilities of research and development in Japan."

The digital infrastructure in the country is also the backbone of AWS' artificial intelligence solutions. AWS provides generative AI services to Japanese customers including Asahi Group, Marubeni, and Nomura Holdings.

AWS first entered Japan in 2009. The company launched its first cloud region in the country in 2011 in Tokyo, and another in Osaka in 2021.

Amazon's Bedrock AI offering was made available in Tokyo in October 2023. The company also invested $100m in a generative AI innovation center in June 2023.

It is currently estimated that the latest investment will contribute 5.57 trillion yen (~$37.6bn) to Japan’s GDP and support an average of 30,500 full-time jobs in Japanese businesses each year.

Japan's government is seeking to catch up in AI development. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has met with the heads of OpenAI and Nvidia in the past year to discuss AI regulation and infrastructure.

In December 2023, Minister Ken Saito announced the government would double down on its pledge to support the domestic chip manufacturing industry.

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