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Public utility charges need to be further reduced by introducing more competition into the market, which would in turn revitalize the economy, according to a report on public utility costs unveiled Tuesday.

Substantial reductions in some sectors have already been achieved, according to the report by a Cabinet Office panel.

“Japan’s economy is in a state of deflation, but efforts to further reduce public utility charges are an important policy area,” the report says. “Charges for some sectors, such as telecommunications, have been reduced substantially, but those for other sectors remain high or have increased.”

A Cabinet Office official said fees for electricity and gas remain high compared with those in Europe and the United States.

The report says it is important to enhance competition by easing regulations on new entrants in public utility sectors as well as deregulating pricing.

New entrants are charged fees to access the infrastructure when they start new services.

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