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JFE Steel Corp. and Chugoku Electric Power Co. abandoned plans to develop a coal-fired power plant near Tokyo that had drawn scrutiny from a government official.

The companies will consider building a natural gas-fired power plant instead, they said in a statement Thursday. The originally planned 1.07-gigawatt coal-fired plant drew criticism last year from the environment minister at the time, Koichi Yamamoto, who urged the companies to review the plan citing environmental concerns.

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