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Supply Chain

Japan seeks to release rare earths, 10 other critical items from China's grip

By stockpiling and finding alternatives, Tokyo hopes to bolster resilience of supply chains

Lithium, nickel and cobalt extracted using a process known as electrolytic refining. Rare-earth metals are essential materials for electric-vehicle batteries.

TOKYO -- Japan designated semiconductors, batteries and nine other items as strategically critical material on Tuesday, in a bid to reduce the exposure of those supply chains to China.

"This is the first step in advancing the resiliency of critical supply chains to safeguard the survival, livelihoods and economic activities of our citizens," Economic Security Minister Sanae Takaichi told reporters.

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