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Japan plans to jointly develop rare earth metals with Myanmar

Japan plans to jointly develop rare earth metals and other natural resources with Myanmar as it attempts to diversify its supply chain for the minerals, which are used in a slew high-tech goods, sources close to the matter said Sunday.

The move was prompted by China, which virtually has a monopoly over rare earth metals but reportedly stopped shipments to Japan last year during an escalating diplomatic spat.

Japan is informally sounding out Myanmar about sending Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin to Japan later this year to advance the plan, the sources said.

Read the rest of the story: Japan eyes rare earth deal with Myanmar.