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Japan and India agree on joint development of rare earths

As China continues its geopolitical rare earths power play, Japan and India are the latest countries to partner in an attempt to offset China’s near total supply monopoly.  According to the Asia News Network, the foreign ministers of the two countries agreed in late October to promote the joint development of the critical minerals at the private level.   In line with an agreement reached during a state visit last year, the two countries will move ahead with a joint development of rare earth deposits in India.

Japan, an early target of China’s export restrictions on rare earths, has been seeking to diversify REE supply for its battered high-tech industries, and has recently turned to Vietnam and Burma in this effort.

When Germany agreed to partner with Mongolia to develop rare earths, we asked why the German Chancellor wasn’t coming to Washington, D.C. to look for partners in resource development.  Considering that the U.S. is home to 13 percent of global rare earths resources, U.S. policy makers should ask themselves the same question in the context of Japan’s quest for strategic minerals.