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The government has asked power companies to top up their liquefied natural gas (LNG) reserves and share energy resources, a person familiar with the contingency plan said, as civilian deaths in Ukraine push Tokyo to halt Russian fuel imports.

Utilities are scrambling for already stretched energy sources as resource-poor Japan joins the West in punishing Russia, a major oil and gas producer — a search made harder on Friday when Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced a ban on Russian coal and other sanctions.

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