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Business

Japan's crowded steel industry flows toward realignment

All eyes turn to Nippon Steel's sprawling group as smaller players eye merger

Osaka Steel subsidiary Tokyo Kohtetsu operates this electric furnace, part of a packed Japanese steel industry.

TOKYO -- Consolidation talks by Japanese electric-furnace operators have focused attention on Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, whose many electric-furnace affiliates give the steel giant the potential to reshape a market that features dozens of rivals.

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