RARE RARE EARTH: Japanese importers say China continues to block the export of crucial rare earth metals used in its high tech products.
BIG DEAL: China has about 30 percent of global rare earth deposits but accounts for a staggering 97 percent of production.
WHAT'S THE HOLDUP? Japanese companies say Beijing has blocked rare earths shipments since Sept. 21 in possible retaliation for Tokyo's arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain near disputed islands. The captain was released and Beijing denies any ban is in effect.