ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
All Chinese companies on the rare minerals industry stopped exports of rare minerals to Japan on 21 September 2010. On 23 September 2010 The New York Times wrote that the Chinese government had blocked rare minerals exports to Japan following an incident of Japan's detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain, whose boat was found on the territory guarded by the Japanese. On 24 September 2010 Financial Times reported that the Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry, Akihiro Ohata, stated that the shipments of rare earth materials had been held up at the Chinese ports intentionally.
China's premier, Wen Jiabao warned in the end of September 2010 that Japan would "bear all the consequences" of holding the Chinese captain. According to The New York Times, the captain was detained by Japan on 8 September 2010 and released on 24 September 2010. On 22 September 2010 the Chinese prime minister told European political and business leaders that China had not imposed any export bans of rare minerals and that it does not intend to do so in the future either. However, the Chinese commerce minister, Chen Deming, had suggested in a television interview on 26 September 2010 that the Chinese rare earth industry might have stopped exports to Japan because of their personal feelings towards Japan. Apparently there are 32 companies that have licenses to export rare minerals, 10 of which are foreign.
According to the Japanese minister of state the Chinese did ban the exports of rare earths. He also told that Japan would continue to be a major buyer of rare earths from China. According to the Chinese press China's policy on rare earth exports will follow WTO rules.
Japan's industry is very much dependent on rare earth minerals from China.
Evidence on the duration of the ban is mixed, with last reports of a protectionist stance dating from November 2011.
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