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Japan's battery future hinges on EV growth, says lithium 'father'

Nobel winner Yoshino urges carmakers to lead fight against Asian rivals

Akira Yoshino, who won the Nobel Prize in 2019 for achievements in storage battery technology, says the industry's future rests on whether Japan's EV market can expand. (Photo by Atsushi Ooka)

TOKYO -- Japan must rapidly increase its sales of electric vehicles if it wants to lead the global storage battery market and lock horns with China and South Korea in 2025, warns the Nobel-winning inventor of modern batteries, as competition intensifies over the essential component of green cars.

Japan once led the field of lithium-ion storage batteries, with chemist Akira Yoshino developing the first commercially viable model in 1985. Now the nation is having to ratchet up support for the industry, which is falling behind Chinese and South Korean players in the global market.

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