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Small-town Japan's big hopes for energy self-sufficiency

TOKYO -- Cities and towns across Japan are reaching for resources near at hand, such as scrap wood and underground heat, to meet their own energy needs.

     Fourteen local governments are planning to set up energy companies as the country moves toward full deregulation of the business of selling power to homes in 2016. Such initiatives could create much-needed local jobs. The national government will support locally run power providers as a central part of efforts to invigorate small-town economies.

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