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Japan’s critical metals in the medium term: a quasi-dynamic approach incorporating probability


  • Ojiambo N. Malala

    (Akita University)

  • Tsuyoshi Adachi

    (Akita University)


Japan has a competitive manufacturing industry that relies significantly on mineral resources, but few studies not initiated by the government exist to help us understand which metals are critical. In other major economies, concerns about the availability of and access to mineral resources have prompted researchers to suggest multiple methods to identify critical materials—mineral resources with high economic importance and a high risk of supply disruption—but the methods proposed so far, though sensible, should be improved. This study proposes a quasi-dynamic approach that incorporates probabilities to measure vulnerability to supply restriction as a way to improve the existing criticality methodologies. The study identifies unique probabilities for absolute price changes for 18 metals and identifies critical metals for Japan for 2000, 2005, 2011, and 2015. The study finds that niobium, molybdenum, rare earths, vanadium, tungsten, and cobalt are critical metals for Japan, and they will remain critical for the medium term (5–10 years). The study also proposes strategies for Japan to secure its supply of these critical metals.

Suggested Citation

  • Ojiambo N. Malala & Tsuyoshi Adachi, 2022. "Japan’s critical metals in the medium term: a quasi-dynamic approach incorporating probability," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 35(1), pages 87-101, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:35:y:2022:i:1:d:10.1007_s13563-021-00262-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-021-00262-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

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