TOPICS & NEWS Trend Towards Regional Distribution of Data Centers


Trend Towards Regional Distribution of Data Centers

Amid the issues of centralization of data centers becoming apparent, the government is working on decentralizing data centers to regional areas. Several ministries have already started projects and considerations in this regard.


Data Center Construction Revealed in Mihara City, Hiroshima Prefecture


It has been revealed that a Tokyo-based company is constructing a large-scale data center in the Hongo Industrial Park in Mihara City, Hiroshima Prefecture, to speed up data processing and enhance stability. This company is said to be a group company of the American IT giant Google. The Hongo Industrial Park, funded by Hiroshima Prefecture and Mihara City, has a 275,000 square meter site developed two years ago, and the land was sold for about 5.8 billion yen in a contract concluded on November 17. The investment for the development of the data center is expected to be around 100 billion yen.


Reasons for Choosing Hongo Industrial Park


According to Hiroshima Prefecture, the Hongo Industrial Park was chosen for several reasons: the data center handles a vast amount of information, so a location with less disaster risk was preferred. Also, it is located about 15 minutes by car from Hiroshima Airport and is close to a highway interchange, which is advantageous for maintenance, inspection, and equipment updates.

The company plans to develop the facility in stages, with all facilities expected to be operational around 2033. The prefecture, in cooperation with Mihara City, plans to provide necessary support going forward.


Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Supports Regional Distribution of Data Centers


The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced that it would subsidize up to 30 billion yen for a new data center to be built by SoftBank in Tomakomai City, which will be used for developing AI, including generative AI.


As data centers in Japan are concentrated around Tokyo and Osaka, distributing them to regional areas aims to prepare for large-scale disasters and alleviate regional imbalances in electricity load caused by their massive power consumption.


Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister Nishimura said in a press conference after a Cabinet meeting on November 7, “We want to continue to support the regional distribution of data centers as it also promotes the use of renewable energy available in rural areas.”


Focus on the Trend Towards Regional Distribution of Data Centers


With the remarkable evolution of AI like ChatGPT, it is essential to ensure a good communication environment as the foundation for data exchange. If there are issues with the communication environment, it could cause significant stress to users due to the large amount of data exchanged. From the perspective of maintaining urban functions, the concentration of data centers in certain areas raises concerns about the potential strain on urban electricity. Therefore, the regional distribution of data centers is crucial for risk diversification.

The construction of data centers could potentially revitalize local economies. It is important to pay close attention to the ongoing trend of regional distribution of data centers.