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From: CommanderCricket4/4/2012 9:55:47 AM
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online.wsj.com 

BY BEN LEFEBVRE

TOKYO—Japanese gas-and-electric companies are aiming to raise their direct ownership stakes in natural-gas projects around the world, a trend that is putting the country’s traditional natural-gas buyers increasingly on the supply side.

Japan, which possesses few domestic natural resources to fuel the world’s third-largest economy, has been retreating from its previous commitment to nuclear power since the March 2011 accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant. Japan has idled all but one of its nuclear reactors—with the remaining one slated for maintenance May 5—making the country’s gas and electric utilities more dependent on imports of liquefied-natural gas.
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