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Japan: Tokyo accelerates energy reforms

Energy reforms go rapidly forward in Japan. The Abe government has approved laws for a third set that contains changes in the generation, marketing and distribution of electrical, gas and thermal energy. With regard to the electricity sector, the Organization for Cross-regional Coordination of Transmission Operators, an energy authority, will be operational as from April, and the electricity market will be deregulated, with tariffs and retail sales to be liberalised beginning in 2016; finally, delivery and distribution will be separated from generation beginning in 2020. Measures concerning gas will follow the pace of those regarding electricity, with retail sale liberalisation and the separation of distribution from sales, which will take effect in April of 2022.