Asia Bizz: Japan Worried about its Rare Earth Supplies from China

After a diplomatic deal between China and Japan in September, China released its first shipments of rare earth minerals which are used for manufacturing high tech products, to Japan. On Wednesday the Japanese trade and industry minister Akihiro Ohata confirmed the release of the minerals from China.

According to the importers in Japan the shipments are held up in the Chinese ports due to strict inspections and paperwork. The ban on the export started after a Chinese fishing boat captain was arrested by Japan, when his ship had banged with the patrol boats near the disputed islands.

However Beijing has denied any kind of ban in the exports. Currently China produces and supplies about 97% of rare earth minerals globally. Rare earth minerals are used in the manufacturing high tech products such as computer drives, cell phones and hybrid cars.

Japan is now worried about its supplies and is looking forward to negotiate with other countries such as Australia, Vietnam and Mongolia to develop fresh mines.


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