Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said August 30 that China has shifted its rare earth business strategy, restricting production by tightening environmental inspections of producers of the materials that are indispensable for high-tech and new-generation motor vehicles. China planned rare earth production of 89,200 tons in 2010 but, in response to rising rare earth prices over the past two years, the actual production was closer to 130,000 tons.