Japan revealed it will begin restricting exports of some chipmaking equipment to countries branded unfriendly on 23 July, following months of pressure from the US to tighten trade controls on China to prevent the military from accessing advanced technology, Nikkei Asia reported.

The Japanese government added 23 types of chipmaking equipment to a list of regulated exports which require approval from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry unless they are shipped to 42 countries deemed friendly.

Nikkei Asia revealed Japan’s plan in an article published in March, but in its latest report noted the move has now been made official, with a two-month publicity campaign underway.

The controls cover extreme ultraviolet lithography and etching equipment for producing memory and logic chips with circuit widths of less than 14nm, the newspaper stated.

China Daily reported the nation’s Ministry of Commerce slammed the move and hinted at potential retaliation.

Japan and the Netherlands reportedly backed tougher US restrictions on exports in January.

Earlier this week, China barred domestic operators of critical information infrastructure from purchasing chips form Micron Technology, widely seen as retaliation for the US imposing new restrictions in October 2022.