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Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to invest 2.26 trillion yen ($15.2bn) into its existing cloud infrastructure in Tokyo and Osaka by 2027 to meet growing customer demand for cloud services in Japan.
The planned investment is expected to contribute 5.57 trillion yen to Japan’s GDP and support about 30,500 full-time equivalent jobs on average in Japanese businesses each year, according to an AWS economic impact study for Japan.
AWS first established its presence in Japan in 2009, opening its Tokyo cloud region in 2011 and the Osaka cloud region a decade later. Throughout this period, the company invested 1.51 trillion yen to construct, connect, operate, and maintain AWS datacentres.
The new investment will bring the company’s total investment in cloud infrastructure in Japan to about 3.77 trillion yen, enabling it to continue to help organisations across industries in Japan to improve productivity and transform customer experiences.
“The adoption of digital technology has become a source of the 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 datacentres play an important role to this end,” he added. “It promotes the use of important technologies such as AI [artificial intelligence] and improves the capabilities of research and development in Japan.
“These investments will create local jobs, improve productivity, grow markets for digital transformation and green transformation, and accelerate innovation for Japan. I hope that AWS will play an even greater role in strengthening Japan’s digital industrial competitiveness in the future.”
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AWS has a broad customer base in Japan, including beverage giant Asahi, telco giant KDDI and financial powerhouse Nomura. These and other companies are increasingly leveraging generative AI (GenAI) to deliver productivity gains, improve customer experience and drive business growth.
To support GenAI adoption in Japan, AWS made Amazon Bedrock available in the Tokyo region last October and launched a support programme that provides select organisations with technical mentoring, a $6m investment in the form of AWS credits to build and train large language models, as well as expert guidance for choosing computing resources and business-side support to grow users.
In addition, AWS invested $100m in a GenAI innovation centre in June 2023 that connects AWS machine learning and AI experts with global customers such as Asahi, which has been working with the centre to drive product innovation and improve operational efficiency.
Tadao Nagasaki, president of AWS Japan, expects the company’s investment into its cloud infrastructure to generate a ripple effect across Japanese industries and provide more Japanese organisations with access to emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning.