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Tuesday, 2nd November 2010
In General Japan News,

Japan and Vietnam agree rare earth deal

Japan is to work with Vietnam in mining rare earth minerals to lessen its reliance on Chinese materials.

Prime minister Naoto Kan also confirmed a new deal with Russia to construct a nuclear power plant in Vietnam that will be capable of providing around 2,400 megawatts of power.

Vietnam has plans to build at least eight nuclear power plants over the next 20 years as demand for energy rises.

A joint statement from the two nations said: "Prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung announced that Vietnam has decided to have Japan as a partner for exploration, mining, development, and separation and production of rare earth minerals in the country."

China currently supplies around 97 per cent of the world's rare earth minerals and ongoing diplomatic disputes with Japan means the country has restricted its exports.

The Mainichi Daily News reports that Japan's foreign minister Seiji Maehara recently announced that Japan would not be willing to compromise with China over the disputed Diaoyu Islands.

Written by Mark Smith.

Related news stories:
Vietnam announces Japanese bullet train plan (15th April 2010)