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Japan may ask households and businesses to cut back on natural gas use on the back of concerns that increase in global competition for the precious fuel will disrupt stable supply.

A panel within Japan’s trade ministry called for discussion to create a framework that would allow the government to ask households and businesses to conserve gas when supply is tight, according to documents released Monday. While long-term liquefied natural gas contracts help the country secure stable supply, competition over the fuel is increasing and “conservation measures will be needed” in the event there are disruptions to energy procurement, the document said.

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