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Five power companies that suffered deficits in the first half of business year 2012 (April-September) have started discussing the possibility of raising electricity rates. If these companies file official requests with the government for approval of rate hikes, the government should order them to first undertake serious cost-cutting efforts.

Raising electricity rates could have a negative impact on the economy. Nonetheless, two of Japan’s 10 major power companies — Kansai Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. — have already made it clear that they have begun to consider concrete plans to do just that.

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