The Guardian

Japan’s Ambassador to Australia has warned of the risks in placing “too many eggs in one basket” with China as he flagged greater investment by Japanese companies in Australian resources such as critical minerals and gas.

Yamagami Shingo, who has been Tokyo’s top diplomat in Canberra for more than a year, said Japan sympathised with Australia in the face of a Chinese campaign of economic coercion targeting trades including coal, beef and wine.

Mr Yamagami said Japan had been subject to a similar campaign by its North Asian neighbour 12 years ago when China restricted exports of rare earth materials needed for several high-end manufacturing industries.

He said the episode was the catalyst for Japan’s move away from a near-total reliance on Chinese rare earths towards other suppliers, including Australia.

And he noted that the decision had all but underwritten the development of Western Australia’s Mount Weld mine, which is operated by local rare earths champion Lynas Corporation.

Japanese Ambassador Yamagami Shingo wearing a dark pin-striped suit, glasses, standing at a lectern, speaking seriously.

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