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Geothermal hunt heats up in Japan, from ski country to hot spring areas

Previously untapped national parks will be explored, in bid to hit emissions target

Kyushu Electric Power's Hatchobaru geothermal station: Japan aims to identify promising sites for such facilities in national parks and pass them on to the private sector. (Photo by Kazuma Yamada)

TOKYO -- Japan will expand its search for geothermal power sources in national parks and other areas it has been reluctant to tap, despite having the world's third-largest reserves, Nikkei has learned.

About 30 locations will be assessed in a new government-funded phase of exploration, overseen by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, to contribute to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Only five were studied in earlier surveys.

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