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Japanese industries could save 4 trillion yen a year in energy costs if electricity charges were lowered to European and U.S. levels, a senior executive of U.S. energy firm Enron Corp. said Tuesday.

At a business gathering in Tokyo, Steven Kean, an executive vice president of Enron, said electricity charges are still rising in Japan despite progress in cost reductions in Europe and the U.S.

Japan needs to remove regulations on power lines and let users choose suppliers freely, he said.

Establishing an independent supervising body for the industry and mapping out transparent rules for information disclosure are also necessary, he said.

Enron is seeking to enter the Japanese energy market on a full-fledged basis following Japan’s deregulation in March of its retail electricity market.

In March, it applied for approval from Aomori Prefecture for its plan to build a large thermal power plant in the village of Rokkasho.

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