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Gov't takes aim at electricity monopolies

By Aaron Sheldrick and Risa Maeda

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I still wonder why, after being out of the country for a month and a half, and having shut down all the electricity (except for the fridge and the security system) my bill is still 7 000 yen... ?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If Abe can pull this off, it would be HUGE! Allowing competition? In a Capitalist country? Who would have thought of it? Seriously though, this would provide large benefits to society in efficiency savings as well as being the log that undoes the jam of resistance to reform.

Like many people here, I am not fond of Mr. Abe's nationalist tendencies, but this is a very good idea and if he can get it done, he will be the most influential Prime Minister since Nakasone.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

politically well-connected utilities are part of an entrenched web of interests

C'mon people! Do you really believe this? Do you think the local governments will agree to give up their kick-backs from the existing power companies and allow competition? Who is gonna invest in nuclear power with public opinion so against it? This is political grandstanding at its best. It will never actually happen!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Wow sounds good, I'm glad at least the government admits this is a problem, but I'll believe it when it happens, I hope it happens.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'll believe it when I see it. Politicians love the word "reform" because it means different things to different people, so it allows them to con many groups at once.

Until my monthly bill goes down, and I can choose from a couple different power companies as easily as I can choose cell phone carriers, then it's all political hot air.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As gaijinfo said, I'll believe it when I see it. Amongst all the countries I've lived in, Japan's politicians are the ones that most obviously lie through their teeth. Why bother hiding corruption when the people won't do anything about it anyway, I guess?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

JT, as long as you use colloquial English when translating pages from Japanese to English you will continue to been seen as a second rate publication.

I realize you can not take constructive criticism and prefer to be dictatorial in how you handle people's comments, and I am quite certain that this will be censored and deleted, but in the hope that you LISTEN. If you want people to take you more seriously and not just a translation service with shoddy work being done, accept the criticism and do something positive with it and make things better.

There are a host of things on countless numbers of articles that have been brought to your attention, yet you do nothing but justify your methods or out of hand delete the posts.

You probably have no idea what I am talking about on this article, but it's there, and it just drags down the "quality" of the entire article and website as a whole.

Take it to heart.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This does not mean cheaper electricity ! It means more companies making / taking more proffit from the people. Just as privatisation in other countries, no change occurres just fat cats ( politicians with shares) get a pice of the cake in new pies. More regulators more cost to manage, more jobs for gov more opertuniy for retirement positions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"“This a real opportunity" quote from a senior executive from a trading house, and we all know what that means. Its the trading houses that are causing all the problems worldwide. They control the price of all commodities,and in turn keep global prices high while making excessive profits from the end consumer. All utility companies should only be allowed to increase within inflation figures. The utility companies in Europe have bled the consumer dry with excessive price increases and the governments have stood by and done nothing. So I don't see any change here in Japan, sometimes its better the devil you know than the devil you don't know. Just don't let the trading houses near your utilities, they've caused enough problems already .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

With courage and vision Prime Minister Abe is showing great leadership. Competition will lower prices and lead to more innovations on the part of these utilities. A surprising move that will benefit all. Well done!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

At least he recognizes that costs are ridiculously high. As for being nationalist, I don't think so. He's just tired of having to walk on eggs in Asia

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes. Break up the electricity generating and supply monopoly.

It will bring lower energy bills to us consumers, just like it did in ,,, err, now let me think.......

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All monopolies are Govt granted privileges.

who has long been critical of government support for utilities

The companies, including Tokyo Electric Power Co and Kansai Electric Power Co, still supply almost 98% of Japan’s electricity and terms for access to their transmission lines make it onerous for new entrants.

Wrenching control of transmission from regional monopolies to create a national grid

Govt with its laws, regulations and taxation's lobbied by such companies are what give the companies monopolies on the regional level.So long as they control the energy supply at the regional level then they have no need to compete with one another. Competitions must be allowed into this un-free market to allows cost of services to be lowered, for new more effective companies to appear and for a quality product.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The final and most ambitious phase envisages breaking the monopolies into separate generation and transmission companies by 2020 and abolishing all price controls.

While the ultimate aim is to reduce electricity prices for Japanese business and voters, one of those who helped draft the scheme questions whether the reforms will drive down costs.

“Consumers in Europe and in the U.S. often found there was a rise in electricity bills after power sector deregulation,” said Hiroshi Takahashi, a research fellow at Fujitsu Research Institute and a member of panel that advised on the reforms.

When you do not have healthy competition the prices are usually higher. If anything the Gov should own a central grid and power companies should sell power into it. Wind, solar, biodigesters etc should be used in the countryside where people are far away from the grid (electricity costs higher). It makes no sense to abolish all price controls since electricity is a needed by most commodity ==> need some control there.

If possible, people should lower their electricity costs as much as they can and try to get off the grid and away from this monopoly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mildly surprised to see how many people are in favor of this despite the volumes of evidence showing that this road leads to significantly higher electricity costs. Without exception.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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