Japan is planning to step up regulation on foreign investment in domestic companies involved in the development of rare earths and other scarce resources.
The move is part of an effort to prevent technologies key to national security from leaking outside the country.
Rare minerals can be found in a wide range of high-tech products. Japanese companies have advanced technologies in related fields.
The government has decided to require these firms to submit advance notification before receiving funding from foreign businesses.
The regulation falls under the foreign-exchange law. It currently applies to 14 fields, including nuclear energy, aviation, and electric power.
Officials are expanding the list to cover companies that handle rare earths. These include manufacturers of mining equipment and research vessels, as well as makers of analytical devices and software.
Rare earths are used in electric vehicles, wind turbines, smartphones and optic fiber. These products are key to achieving a more digitized society with a smaller carbon footprint.
Analysts are predicting that a surge in demand for rare earths will continue into the future.
The government plans to start enforcing the expanded regulation as early as November.
Source NHK Japan
Arsalan Ahmad is a Research Engineer working on 2-D Materials, graduated from the Institute of Advanced Materials, Bahaudin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan.