Japan’s government stepped-up its campaign against Chinese infrastructure vendors, moving to incentivise domestic companies to develop 5G technology by offering a series of tax breaks, Reuters reported.

The news agency stated the government approved a bill offering various financial incentives and reliefs in a bid to spur local development of relevant network technologies.

Japan was one of the first nations to bow to US pressure to ban Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE, announcing in late 2018 the companies would be blocked from bidding for government contracts due to security concerns.

Operators swiftly followed, stating they would not seek 5G equipment from either vendor. NTT Docomo and SoftBank had previously conducted trials of Huawei’s next-generation gear.

The government now appears to be keen on swift action to ensure domestic technology can be used in place of the Chinese kit. Reuters said the bill will be presented to parliament with the aim of passing legislation by the middle of the year.

Among the proposals are offering companies loans with low rates of interest and tax breaks. However, any potential systems would need to meet strict cybersecurity rules, Reuters stated.

Japanese operators are expected to launch their 5G networks this year, with commitments to spend JPY1.6 billion ($14.6 billion) on rollouts over the next five years.