Japan’s Sakura Internet to bring AI power to Southeast Asia

Japan’s Sakura Internet to bring AI power to Southeast Asia

/ 08:25 AM July 09, 2024

The Land of the Rising Sun has been developing several AI and internet innovations, becoming one of the nations ushering in a new technological age.

Sakura Internet will further its digital influence in the “Global South.” 

The Japanese cloud service provider told Nikkei Asia it wants to build a Southeast Asian base by “this fiscal year.”

In other words, the company will set it up before March 2025. 

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READ: OpenAI Japan officially opens

The office will have AI data centers that will enable more people in Southeast Asia to use artificial intelligence. In turn, Japan will prevent a US monopoly on the AI revolution by providing more options.

Why does Sakura Internet want to build AI data centers in SEA?

Filipinos and other Southeast Asians may wonder why you’d need local data centers to use AI. After all, they can already access OpenAI, Midjourney, and other AI platforms.

Sakura Internet founder and CEO Kunihiro Tanaka told Nikkei that Asian countries fear being overly dependent on overseas data centers. 

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Establishing artificial intelligence platforms on systems outside one’s country raises cybersecurity and privacy risks. That is why Sakura will have “regions,” or dedicated sets of data centers in Southeast Asia. 

For example, another Inquirer Tech article reported that Japan wants a “siloed” ChatGPT for government ministries and corporations. As a result, they have greater control over the AI chatbot’s online security and privacy. 

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Sakura Internet has data centers in Tokyo, Hokkaido, and Osaka, so the initial service would likely use computing power or “compute” from these facilities. 

Tanaka also said Southeast Asian data centers will also help cover Japan’s so-called “digital deficit.” It’s the large amount of money Japanese companies pay for Western IT services. 

“One of the things we and the industry are trying to do is to sell Japanese [digital] services overseas,” the founder said.

“Automobile companies import raw material and export in the form of a car, adding value to the product … If you are importing OpenAI [products] you are importing something with already a high value,” he added. 

More importantly, Japan wants to prevent a US monopoly on AI tech.

A lawmaker from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party said the AI revolution is “beginning to look once again like monopolization by [American] big tech.”

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Tokyo wants to break these moves by pushing a more “open” environment. Tanaka said he is considering bases in Vietnam or Malaysia.

TOPICS: AI, technology
TAGS: AI, technology

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