Progress made on joint Japan, Vietnam nuke and rare earth plans

April 24, 2012

Japan and Vietnam are moving closer toward joint development plans for nuclear energy and rare earth in Vietnam, the Japanese Foreign Ministry has stated.

Meeting over the weekend for the second time in five months, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung confirmed that progress has been made concerning a plan to build two nuclear reactors in Vietnam, after Japan secured contracts to do so in October 2010, the ministry said.

Whether foreign countries will continue to import Japan's nuclear power technology has drawn attention since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

The two leaders also noted that their cooperation on rare earths development is moving forward, it said.

Japan has been keen to jointly develop the elements with Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations where the resources are said to be relatively unexploited, as China currently controls more than 90 percent of global supplies.

The minerals are crucial for making high-tech goods including smartphones and hybrid cars.