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Japan's Idemitsu family to accept merger with rival refiner Showa Shell

Decision clears last obstacle to forming nation's No 2 oil company

Showa Shell and Idemitsu expect the merger to help them accelerate growth in markets such as Southeast Asia.

TOKYO -- The founding family of Japanese oil company Idemitsu Kosan has signaled it will drop its opposition to long-stalled plans for a merger with rival Showa Shell Sekiyu, clearing the way for the two to combine next spring.

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