Japan's dream to dominate the electric car business might be finished if nobody sells them the material.
Can US car makers capitalize on this opening?
You can't make people sell things they don't want to sell, unless you send in the Japanese Imperial Army. The Chinese remember that very well.
No mistake, Intel wants the P.R.C. to have 65nm SiON CMOS logic manufacturing (of course, it's now leaking like a sieve from TSMC, too). Indeed, some companies will lose competitive advantage, but not Intel with 32nm HKMG CMOS.
Recall that the P.R.C. has invested heavily over many years to develop and own IP-clean MIPS clone designs (Ref: "Godson"/"Loongson" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loongson) that create 1.2 GHz 64bit multicore DDR3-compatible chips in 65nm ST fabs today.
Think it through...
Maybe a de facto monopoly? Even though I think it is silly and childish for the Chinese government to tie rare earth to every tiny little dispute with Japan, the fact China has only 1/3 of the world rare earth reserve almost certainly does not make it a monopoly. The US decided it was too expensive and dirty to produce rare early and left the job completely to China. I'd call that stupid.
I can not believe that Intel continues to invest in Fab in China. A day will come that China will close the fab and will not allow shipment of semiconductors out of the country, just look at the recent development. China has monopoly in rare metal and they threatened to stop shipment to Japan recently.