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Asia is racing ahead to build the fastest and most powerful computers in the world. The Sunday Times’ Asia bureaus look at how China, Japan and South Korea are flexing their muscles in the supercomputing arena. Motoaki Saito, president of Tokyo supercomputing start-up Pezy Computing, is a man on a mission.

“There is no point coming in second,” the 49-year-old whiz said in a magazine interview last year.

“The first country to run next-generation supercomputers will gain unparalleled advantage and reap the benefits,” he added, lamenting that Japan could potentially end up being five years behind China on this front if not enough attention is devoted to developing speedier and stronger machines.

But perhaps Saito, who is renowned for his work in downsizing energy-saving supercomputers, has been too ambitious. Last month, he was charged with defrauding the government of 431 million yen (S$5.2 million) in grants, while a probe is ongoing into several other companies that are linked to him, which are said to have benefited from more than 10 billion yen in subsidies. On top of that, Saito’s Pezy Computing is now being accused of evading corporate taxes, media reports said this month.


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