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Microsoft to invest $2.9 billion in Japan data centers

Microsoft Corp. will invest $2.9 billion in data centers in Japan by 2025, marking its biggest investment in the country, the Nikkei newspaper reported, citing an interview with President Brad Smith.

The announcement will be made during Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Washington this week and comes amid Tokyo’s push for more computing power for artificial intelligence, according to the report.

Kishida arrived in the US on Monday for the first official visit by a Japanese leader in nine years, underscoring the increasing importance of the alliance between the two countries. He is scheduled to meet American business leaders on Tuesday before holding a summit with President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

Microsoft will install advanced AI chips at two existing sites in eastern and western Japan. It will also unveil an AI-related reskilling program in Japan to train 3 million workers over three years and set up a research lab on robotics and AI, the Nikkei report said.

At the summit on Wednesday, Biden and Kishida are expected to emphasize the strength of US-Japan ties in a wide range of areas including defense, economic security, key technologies like semiconductors, AI and quantum computing.

Read more: Japan’s Kishida Will Look to Sidestep Cracks in Unity With Biden

The Japanese leader is scheduled to visit a Toyota Motor Corp.’s battery plant and a Honda Aircraft Co.’s factory in North Carolina on Friday, where he’s likely to tout the benefits of Japanese investments for the US economy.

Japan is the top investing nation in the US with an amount of $775.2 billion at the end of 2022, followed by Canada and the UK, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. This is far bigger than China’s investment of $44.8 billion. NDTV Profit

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