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Abe's bid to set up national power grid stumbles

The grid company, which is set to start operations next April, does not have full power to make and implement plans

Tokyo

AFTER the Fukushima disaster crippled Japan's nuclear energy sector three years ago, the government pledged the biggest shake-up in the history of the fragmented electricity industry to boost competition and contain a surge in power prices.

But a first crucial phase of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan - to set up a national grid company to allow new suppliers to sell electricity to the residential sector - has been watered down so much that even people directly involved in creating or running the body say it will not have enough power to succeed.

The original government aim was to set up a company that could guarantee equal access to all participants. But plans to give the nationwide grid...

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