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New power providers carve role in Japan's liberated market

Lower rates, focus on urban areas buoy sales as some approach major utilities

Liberalization has opened Japan's retail electricity market to players like Tokyo Gas.   © (Courtesy of Tokyo Gas)

TOKYO -- New players are climbing the ranks in Japan's deregulated retail power market, collectively surpassing four out of 10 major utilities in household electricity sales.

Since the market's liberalization in April 2016, a swarm of newcomers entered the industry such as oil and gas companies and even telecom businesses. The new players began offering rates about 5% lower on average than major providers, helping them attract households, especially those with heavy power usage.

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