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Japan kicks off power reforms but has to avoid German pitfalls

The troubles include high retail prices, weakened ex-state utilities, high use of coal

SWITCHING OFF: Tepco has so far lost about 2% of its customers. It could take a US$90m hit to its pre-tax profit for the year to March 2017.


FOUR weeks into Japan's power market shake-up aimed at boosting choice and energy security, the utility at the centre of the 2011 nuclear crisis has borne the brunt of consumer defections, with nearly 470,000 users switching electricity providers.

The move underscores the...