China blocks rare earths exports to Japan – Electronics will suffer

China has blocked all exports of rare earths to Japan, stepping up the pressure on Tokyo to release a Chinese boat captain detained in disputed waters, a report said Thursday.

China has halted all shipments to Japan of the chemical elements, essential for the making of mp3 players, electric cars, missiles and a range of other products, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed industry sources.

Calls to China’s commerce and foreign ministries for comment on the report went unanswered.

Japan’s foreign ministry and the world’s top automaker Toyota — one of many companies that would be affected by the move — also did not answer calls.

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