TOKYO - Japan and the European Union plan to start talks about cooperating on advanced materials for next-generation chips and batteries to reduce their reliance on China, the Nikkei reported on Saturday.

Iliana Ivanova, EU commissioner for innovation and research, told the business daily in a written interview that establishing such a dialogue framework in areas of common interest would benefit both sides.

The framework, to be launched as early as in April in response to an EU, is designed to help reduce reliance on China for materials such as rare metals, key ingredients for such uses as electric-vehicle batteries, the Nikkei said.

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki in Tokyo; Editing by William Mallard)