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Good news! Japan has just discovered a large amount of rare earth elements in the seabed around Minami-Tori-shima island. While this is a boon to the tech field and consumers alike, this news undoubtedly comes as a disappointment for China. Turns out, that near-monopoly on rare earth materials was short lived for everyone’s favorite communist state.

From televisions to airplanes, rare earth elements are required for most modern electronics. Unfortunately, rare earths aren’t distributed equally around the world. By the luck of the draw, China makes out like a bandit now that so many industries are in need of these elements. The US, EU, and Japan even battled with China last year in the World Trade Organization over China’s attempt at jacking up rare earth prices. Fortunately, Japan’s findings combined with increased mining activity in other countries are starting to ease China’s chokehold on the world’s supply.

Tokyo University’s Yasuhiro Kato assumed the finding was a mistake when he first saw the “astronomically high level of rare earth minerals” in the mud sample. That’s what makes this discovery noteworthy. Rare earth elements aren’t actually all that hard to find, but they’re usually found in very tiny amounts. Back in 2011, Japan found a large supply of rare earth elements under the Pacific Ocean, but in concentrations of about 2000 parts per million. However, this latest find is reportedly 20-to-30 times more concentrated thanChina‘s rare earth ore.

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