• The Associated Press

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Mitsui & Co. Ltd. said Wednesday it has won exclusive rights from a Canadian firm to sell lithium in Asia to meet rising demand for lithium-ion batteries for eco-friendly products, including hybrid vehicles.

Mitsui will import 2,000 tons of lithium per year from Canada Lithium Corp. in 2013, the company said. The quantity of Mitsui’s import is equal to around 80 percent of Japan’s annual demand for lithium. Mitsui said it will sell lithium in China, Japan and South Korea.

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