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Japan girding for battle royal over power market deregulation

TOKYO -- Japan aims to liberalize electricity retailing by 2016 in the second phase of sweeping energy-industry reforms. But the nation's powerful electricity sector and lawmakers with its backing are gearing up for a fight to block deregulation that will open up a market worth more than 7 trillion yen ($67.8 billion).

     Past attempts to restructure the industry have failed due to intensive lobbying by the 10 major utilities that have long monopolized power generation, transmission and distribution in their respective regions.

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