Earlier this month, Kyodo News surveyed 44 companies that started selling electricity to consumers after the energy market was liberalized in April 2016.

More than 60 percent of respondents objected to the government's plan to make them share in costs associated with compensating victims of the Fukushima nuclear crisis and the related cleanup. Since industry data shows that only 5.5 percent of Japanese households have opted to leave regional utilities for alternative suppliers, it seems doubtful that the objecting companies will persuade the government to change its mind.

These figures illustrate how regional power monopolies have swayed the public, as well as the government's role in helping them do so. The media has also had a hand in maintaining the status quo.