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The 9th Trilateral EU-US-Japan Conference on Critical Materials Held

November 20, 2019

On November 19 (Tue.) 2019, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the European Commission held the 9th Trilateral EU-US-Japan Conference on Critical Materials in Bruxelles, Belgium.

At the conference, Japan, the U.S. and EU exchanged the information about their recent research initiatives and future challenges concerning critical materials, and held an intergovernmental meeting to confirm the importance of further trilateral cooperation.

1. Background

The Trilateral EU-US-Japan Conference on Critical Materials commenced in 2011 under the circumstances such as soaring prices of some critical materials, especially rare earth elements from 2010. The conference has been held annually in order to exchange information about the critical materials, especially in the field of R&D, under the framework of trilateral cooperation between Japan, the United States and the European Union.

2. Overview of the conference

  1. The participants exchanged information about the critical raw materials (CRMs) in the following four sessions: 1) Criticality, materials flows and supply risks, 2) Materials development affecting demand on CRMs, 3) Circular Economy and 4) CRMs for electric vehicles and renewable energies.
  2. The officials of EU, US and Japan held an intergovernmental meeting, and Australia and Canada also attended the meeting as observers. In the meeting, the importance of trilateral cooperation has been confirmed by each country’s officials in order to deal with the supply instability of rare earth elements; and, EU, US and Japan confirmed to make further progress on the collaboration as well. Additionally, the US delegation expressed their willingness to host the 10th Trilateral EU-US-Japan Conference on Critical Materials in 2020.

Division in Charge

Metal Industry Technology Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau