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Monday, 18th October 2010
In General Japan News,

Japan turns to Germany for mineral help

A German minister has confirmed the country is to work with Japan to gain access to vital rare earth minerals.

Economy minister Rainer Bruederle made the announcement following a meeting in Tokyo with Japan's trade and economy ministers Akihiro Ohata and Banri Kaieda, reports AFP.

Ongoing disputes with China have led to Japan looking for alternative supplies of earth minerals – vital to producing a large number of electronic devices including mobile handsets.

At present, around 90 per cent of the minerals are produced by China and both Germany and Japan are keen to develop new production operations.

Mr Bruederle confirmed that officials in Germany and Japan are looking to boost production in countries such as Namibia, Mongolia and the United States.

China ceased mineral shipments to Japan in September following a number of disagreements over territorial waters and the arrest of a Chinese trawler captain by Japanese authorities.

There have been a number of anti-Japanese protests held in China over the weekend, with demonstrators calling for people to boycott Japanese brands.

Written by Mark Smith