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Japan to mine rare earth in Vietnam

Vietnam has chosen Japan as a partner to mine rare earth metals and develop nuclear power in the Communist country, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Sunday.

Kan made the comments to reporters after meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Tan Dung, in Hanoi and said it was a sign of the "strategic partnership between the two countries."

Japan earlier this month announced plans to begin mining in Vietnam for rare earth metals used in the manufacture of high-tech products such as laptops, cell phones and hybrid cars, in a bid to reduce its dependence on China, which produces some 97 percent of the world’s supply.

China has blocked rare earths shipments to Japan following a diplomatic spat between the two countries over disputed islands in the East China Sea, after a collision of a Chinese fishing trawler with two Japanese patrol boats.

Read the rest of the story: Japan, Vietnam agree on rare earths, nuclear power.