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Power industry’s chokehold via The Japan Times online

The electric power industry in Japan has such strong political clout that nobody, not even the government, seems capable of liberalizing the generation and distribution of electricity, let alone making a dent in the regional monopoly currently enjoyed by each of the 10 utilities.

Indeed, in adopting a scheme for paying damages to the victims of the accidents at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the government has ended up guaranteeing the survival of Tokyo Electric Power Co. the operator of the stricken plant. Radioactive substances from Tepco’s Fukushima No. 1 plant have contaminated surrounding cities, farms, forests and the ocean.

The 10 regional utilities are solidly united in the Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC). The federation’s important posts are held by representatives of Tepco.

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