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The missteps at Tepco have sparked calls from the opposition for its nationalization. The Yominuri Shimbun newspaper, citing anonymous sources, said the government was considering it, but Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has denied those reports.

Associated Press writers Eric Talmadge in Fukushima; Noriko Kitano and Elaine Kurtenbach in Tokyo; Margie Mason in Hanoi; Malcolm Ritter in New York; and George Jahn in Vienna, Austria, contributed to this report.