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Japan's gas market deregulation reverberates widely

JXTG Group has thrown down the gauntlet to Tokyo Gas in a battle for the domestic retail market

The stakes are high—Japan's retail energy market is worth around $82.8bn. Although it's early days because the gas market was only deregulated in April 2017, most observers expect the current multitude of suppliers—about 200—to shrink to a handful of single-source giants selling electricity as well as gas. As Japan's largest natural gas utility, Tokyo Gas has a lot to defend. The 133-year-old group is the primary provider in nine main cities including Tokyo, with 11,600 residential, commercial and industrial customers. In 2017, gas sales accounted for 56.4% of all group sales and more than 65% of profits. But JXTG has a lot to aim for. Its domestic gas sales are a fraction of those of Toky

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