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Japan to ask households, companies to save energy this winter



TOKYO, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) — The Japanese government said Thursday it plans to ask households and companies to save electricity this winter as a national power crunch continues.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said at a meeting on energy policy that it would request the public and businesses to conserve energy from December to March next year following a similar request in summer.

The ministry officials said that while pushing ahead with the introduction of renewable energy sources, Japan intends to continue providing a stable power supply, and to accelerate the restart of nuclear reactors that have passed strict safety standards as an additional solution to ensure the supply.

The request comes as the supply of liquefied natural gas used to fuel thermal power plants remains strained due to market turbulence, Kyodo News reported.

The request will be issued even with the reserve power supply capacity rate to maintain at 3 percent, the lowest level deemed necessary to provide a stable supply, the report said.

The Japanese government issued an energy-saving request from July to September this year, the first such request in seven years, in which people across the country were asked to turn off unnecessary lights and to set air conditioners at 28 degrees Celsius to save as much electricity as possible to alleviate a possible power crunch.