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Japan to begin extracting rare earth metals from seabed in 2024

Program a part of effort to wean the country off its reliance on Chinese imports

Research work to extract resources in the Minami-Torishima area is underway under the Cabinet Office's Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program. Researchers succeeded in pumping up deposits from a 2,470-meter-deep seabed in a period from August to September.

TOKYO -- Aiming to reduce its reliance on China for rare earth metals, Japan will begin in 2024 to extract the essential materials for electric vehicles and hybrids from the mud on the deep sea bottom in an area off Minami-Torishima Island, a coral atoll in the Pacific Ocean about 1,900 kilometers southeast of Tokyo.

Tokyo plans to begin work to develop extraction technologies starting next year.

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