Japan to import rare earth from India

Featured Japan - October 22nd, 2012

Japan is seeking to import rare earth from India in a move to diversify its mineral sources as a buffer against China’s threat to restrict exports as tensions mount over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea.

The new deal is expected to be announced on the sidelines of a meeting next month between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh aimed at setting up a project that would introduce Japan’s bullet train system to India, reports the Asahi Shimbun.

India is expected to supply as much as 4,000 tons of rare earth to Japan, including a joint venture between Toyota Tsusho Corp. and an Indian natural resource development company, once the two leaders reach an agreement.

An embargo by China, the world’s largest rare earth mineral producer, could seriously hurt Japanese industries, particularly mobile phone manufacturers.