Japan, the United States and Europe have agreed to work together to diversify supply of rare earths and develop technologies to reduce their reliance on the metals.
Government officials and engineers met in Tokyo on March 28 to discuss stable supplies of rare earths against a backdrop of export restrictions by China, the world's largest supplier.
"(We) plan to create a global supply chain so that we do not rely on resources of a certain country, or even on rare earths," industry minister Yukio Edano told the gathering.
Earlier this month, the parties involved in the meeting filed a complaint about China's restrictions with the World Trade Organization.
Edano outlined a plan to collaborate in technology and mining development to produce high-tech goods without having to rely on China. He asked Australia and Canada for cooperation.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said that in the short term it is important to develop technologies to reduce rare earth use. He said the U.S. government will make investments to develop the appropriate technology.
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