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Japan Looks 6,000 Meters Under the Sea for Rare Earths to Counter China, Report Says

  • Government plans to counter China’s dominance of the minerals
  • Japan to start study mining methods near Ogasawara islands

Japan is looking 6,000 meters under the sea for rare earths to counter China’s dominance of the critical minerals that are used in everything from smartphones to weapons, according to the Yomiuri newspaper.

The government intends to start developing the methods necessary to extract the elements near the Ogasawara islands in the fiscal year beginning in April, and aims to begin prospecting within five years, the newspaper reported, citing unidentified officials.