Japan, Vietnam agree on rare earths, nuclear power

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, left, and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung shake hands after signing in a joint statement on the Vietnam-Japan strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia in Hanoi, Vietnam, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Luong Thai Linh, Pool)
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Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, left, and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung shake hands after signing in a joint statement on the Vietnam-Japan strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia in Hanoi, Vietnam, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan says Vietnam has chosen Japan as a partner to mine rare earth metals and help build the Communist country's second nuclear power plant.

Kan told reporters Sunday that Vietnam selected Japan for both projects during a meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Tan Dung, in Hanoi.

Japan earlier this month announced plans to begin mining in Vietnam for rare earth metals used in high-tech manufacturing, in a bid to reduce its dependence on China.

China has blocked rare earths shipments to Japan following a diplomatic spat between the two countries involving disputed islands in the East China Sea.