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Politics

Tokyo Gov. Koike's pet projects leave Japan Inc. hesitant

Underground power lines, other reform proposals face heaps of red tape

Power lines over a street in Tokyo.

TOKYO -- Corporate Japan is skeptical about the reform proposals of Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, who won big in the metropolitan assembly election Sunday, waiting to embrace potential business until the new leadership proves it can get results.

The same Tokyo street as above, after the power lines were buried underground.

As Koike has long vowed to move Tokyo's cluttered power lines underground, share prices rose in tandem Monday for power line makers including Sumitomo Electric Industries and Furukawa Electric. But not all the manufacturers celebrated. Moving the lines for Tokyo-administered prefectural roads alone is seen costing around 800 billion yen ($7.05 billion), and some parties who would shoulder the burden may not be able to afford it, raising the possibility that the project will end up all talk.

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