Microsoft to invest $2.9 billion in improving AI and cloud infrastructure in Japan

Microsoft to invest $2.9 billion in improving AI and cloud infrastructure in Japan


Microsoft’s investment was announced during a state visit to the USA by Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida (far left), who met with Microsoft’s Brad Smith (second left) and Miki Tsusaka (far right)

Microsoft will expand training programmes, strengthen its cybersecurity collaboration with the government and open a new research lab in the country 

Laura Hyde |

Microsoft will invest $2.9 billion to developing cloud computing and artificial intelligence infrastructure in Japan over the next two years.  

It is the largest single investment Microsoft has made in Japan in its 46-year history of working with the country and will support the government’s plan to tackle deflation and stimulate its economy by expanding digital infrastructure, security capabilities and skilled talent. 

“As economic activities in the digital space increase, it is important for the Japanese industry as a whole to work with global companies like Microsoft that are equipped with a set of digital infrastructure,” said Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan. “Microsoft has made significant contributions to the social implementation of generative AI in Japan through various initiatives, and we look forward to further collaboration. We also look forward to deepening our cooperation in the field of cybersecurity.”  

The increased digital capacity in Japan will enable Microsoft to provide more advanced computing resources, such as the latest graphics processing units to speed up AI workloads. It also builds on Microsoft’s support for the Generative AI Accelerator Challenge, a programme led by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which helps both startups and established enterprises develop foundation models for generative AI.   

“[This is] Microsoft’s most significant investment in Japan since we set roots here in 1978,” said Brad Smith, vice chair and president of Microsoft. “These investments in digital infrastructure, AI skills, cybersecurity, and AI research are essential ingredients for Japan to build a robust AI economy.”       

Microsoft will also open its first Microsoft Research Asia lab in Tokyo, with research and development projects focusing on embodied AI and robotics, societal AI and wellbeing, and scientific discoveries that align with Japan’s socioeconomic priorities. 

In addition, Microsoft will train three million full and part-time workers with AI skills over the next three years, primarily focusing on women, developers and students. It will implement AI-centric programmes in vocational high schools, offer a programme for startups, and partner with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. provide free and widely accessible content on AI, cybersecurity and digital skills. 

Microsoft will also provide $10 million in resource grants over the next five years to both The University of Tokyo and to the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence Research between Keio University and Carnegie Mellon University. 

Japan’s Cabinet Secretariat will also collaborate with Microsoft to strengthen cybersecurity resilience for the government, business and society. They will focus on information sharing, talent development and technology solutions. 

“We are honoured to contribute to Japan and its future with our largest investment to date, technology and knowledge,” said Miki Tsusaka, president of Microsoft Japan. “In collaboration with our partners, Microsoft Japan is fully committed to supporting the people and organisations of Japan to solve social problems and achieve more.”   

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