China 'to resume rare earth exports to Japan'

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Japan's trade minister says he hopes China's rare earth exports will return to normal

China's exports to Japan of rare earths could resume next week, the Japanese trade minister has said.

Shipments of the minerals, vital for making a number of hi-tech products, have been halted by Beijing for almost two months.

This came after the Japan's navy arrested a Chinese fishing boat captain near disputed East China Sea islands.

Japan's Trade Minister Akihiro Ohata said he hoped shipments would now return to normal.

He added: "I think the Chinese understand that stalled exports of rare earths to Japan would in turn have a big impact on China's production of computers.

"I strongly hope that rare earth shipments to Japan will get back to normal."

The Chinese fisherman arrested in the incident near the East China Sea islands in September has since been released.

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