Separate power generation and transmission businesses in Japan

A Japanese industry ministry panel decided Friday to propose to the government a set of electricity reforms that will enable households to choose power suppliers in 2016, and lead major utilities to separate power generation and transmission businesses between 2018 and 2020.

The reform, which could bring the most significant changes to the system in the postwar period, is intended to create a more competitive market by allowing new entrants and enhancing the stability of power supply, bringing an end to the regional monopolies of Japan’s 10 utilities that proved vulnerable in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex.

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