China Accepts Japan’s Rare-Earth Purchase Requests, Asahi Says

Following tensions with Japan over a dispute in the South China Sea, China barred exports of rare earth materials to that country last week. According to Business Week, the have been resumed:

China ended an effective ban on rare-earth exports to Japan yesterday when it began accepting customs applications, the Asahi newspaper reported, citing unidentified Japanese companies.

Companies were able to apply for customs clearance over the Internet yesterday and may be able to obtain permits as early as today, the newspaper said. China had halted customs procedures since Sept. 21, the newspaper said.

Ties between China and Japan soured this month over the detention of a Chinese boat captain whose ship collided with two Japanese Coast Guard vessels in disputed waters. Japanese Economy Minister Banri Kaieda yesterday said China’s “de facto” export ban on rare earths, metals used to make parts of hybrid cars, missiles and televisions, will hurt its economy.

The Christian Science Monitor puts
the rare earth exports ban in the context of various trade disputes between China and its trading partners.

Read more about China’s production and export of rare earth elements.

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