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Renewable energy companies are betting that a leading contender in the race to become Japan's next prime minister, Taro Kono, will unleash changes allowing more market access and a fairer playing field after years of neglect.

The 58-year-old has long championed more renewable supplies in Japan's roughly $150 billion electricity sector, the world's biggest national power market outside China, and has promised an economic stimulus package focused on renewables if he wins.

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