Japan to overhaul power industry

Cabinet approves plan to split utilities’ generation and transmission businesses and open the residential electricity market to competition, which could help it bring down costs and make it more attractive to invest in the country.

Japan has commited to overhauling its electric power market to attract more players and bring down costs.

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Japan is overhauling its power sector to bring down prices.

The country's cabinet approved a plan to split utilities’ generation and transmission businesses and open the residential electricity market to competition, according to a report Tuesday by Financial Times (FT).

It noted the changes will be implemented over five years from 2015, and marked the most comprehensive restructuring of the industry since the 1950s. It had then split its national power provider into 10 regional utilities. The move also follows the industry shakeup since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident .

"This reform targets the whole system, from upstream generation to downstream consumption. More choice should lead to lower rates," said Toshimitsu Motegi, the industry minister, in the report.

Last November, cable television company Jupiter Telecommunications Company said it would enter the electricity business and offer condominium residents with electricity--up to 10 percent cheaper than that of regular power companies.

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