Japan, France to Cooperate Over Supply of Key Minerals; Nations to Share Information on Mining, Processing Tech

Takeru Tsuzuki/The Yomiuri Shimbun
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Ken Saito, right, and French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire show a joint statement they signed in Paris on Wednesday.

PARIS — The Japanese and French governments have agreed to work together to strengthen supply chains for key minerals essential to electric vehicles and other products.

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Ken Saito and French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire signed a joint statement Wednesday at a meeting in Paris. In addition to sharing information on mining and processing technologies for key minerals, Japan and France will cooperate in the development of mines to ensure a stable supply of resources.

The joint statement signed by the two countries says it is essential to build robust, responsible and transparent supply chains for key minerals, so as to develop a resilient and environmentally friendly economy.

Specifically, Japan and France will share information on potential future supply risks and discuss cooperation in the sourcing of rare earths and other critical minerals.

They also plan to support collaborative projects for mine development and ore processing in Africa and elsewhere. Dialogue with the private sector will also be promoted to ensure smooth implementation of the agreement.

France and Japan, which have a long history of cooperation, will work together in strategic areas, Le Maire said at the meeting. Saito also emphasized that it is challenging to build a robust supply network for key minerals, given geopolitical risks.

Global supply chains for many critical minerals depend on specific countries, such as China. To ensure a stable supply of key minerals and diversify supply networks, Japan intends to cooperate with like-minded countries.