The move is intended as a safeguard against a possible embargo by China, a top global producer of rare earths, amid the Japan-China territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands.
India is expected to supply 4,000 tons of rare earths, 15 percent of Japan’s annual needs.
Japan has been trying to diversify its import sources of rare earth elements, which are vital in producing high-tech products, such as smartphones.
During Singh’s Nov. 15-18 visit, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Singh are also expected to announce bilateral cooperation toward the introduction of Japan’s bullet train system in India in a joint statement.
The Indian government and Japanese businesses are currently having last-minute negotiations on a project that would introduce Shinkansen on six high-speed railways in India totalling 4,100 kilometres.
The focus of the discussions is how to divide the work, from the laying of rails to managing train runs, between Japanese businesses and the Indian government.
The two sides are expected to reach an agreement before the meeting between Noda and Singh.
For the import of rare earths, Toyota Tsusho Corp. and an Indian natural resource development company are preparing to establish a joint venture.
The two governments will hold foreign and defence vice ministerial level talks in Tokyo on Oct. 22 to pave the way for the summit, with the United States joining further talks later this month in India.Asahi Shimbun
- Japanese firms join forces to reduce reliance on rare earth from China (wantchinatimes.com)
- Rare Earths Give China Less Leverage Over Japan (theepochtimes.com)
- Less leverage than they think? (ampontan.wordpress.com)
- Japan, Kazakhstan to develop rare earth metals (chinadailymail.com)