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International relations

Japan to pour investment into non-China rare-earth projects

Tokyo aims to reduce China dependency to 50% or less

A rare-earths mine in Australia. The mine operator, Lynas, is involved in a smelting plant project in Texas, in which Japan is looking to also take a stake.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- The Japanese government will cooperate with the U.S. and Australia on investing in processing facilities for rare-earth metals, looking to ease reliance on imports from China.

Rare earths are essential to such high-tech machinery as motors for electric vehicles. But Japan imports 58% of its supply from China, leaving it vulnerable to manipulation by Beijing. Tokyo plans to bring the Chinese share down to 50% or less by 2025.

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