Rare Earths and Metals

Access to rare earth metals is crucial for maintaining Japan’s competitive edge in the manufacturing industry. These elements are used for advanced industries such as electronics, automotive and information technology.

About Materials

The materials sector is wide and diverse, as it encompasses countless other areas such as the steel industry, nanotechnology, chemistry and optical networks.

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Steel and Aluminium

Japan is one of the largest aluminium importers in Asia; its transportation and automobile industries have particularly large aluminium requirements.


Amongst the different kinds of polymers are rubber and carbon fibre. These two types, particularly relevant in Japan, will be the focus of this section. Rubber is an important material for Japan’s automotive industry, a pillar of the country’s economy.

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Stones & Tiles

Demand for building stone in Japan is influenced by peaks and troughs in the construction industry. Stricter building standards have reduced the number of new builds and, as a result, imports of building stone are down.

Ceramic & Glass

Japan’s traditional craft industries, ceramic and glass-making, have recently found new applications in the automotive and aerospace sectors as well as in the production of technological devices.

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