Japan urges China to resume exports

Japan's trade minister yesterday urged China to resume its export of manufacturing materials that Tokyo considers effectively banned since last month's territorial row.

Japanese companies say Beijing has blocked shipments of "rare earth" metals to Japan since 21 September, in possible retaliation for Tokyo's arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain near disputed islands in the East China Sea.

The captain, whose trawler hit two Japanese patrol boats, was later released. Beijing denies any official ban on shipments to Japan.

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