File photo of a natural gas well drilled near Canton, in Bradford County, Pennsylvania
A natural gas well is drilled near Canton, in Bradford County, Pennsylvania in this January 8, 2012 file photo. U.S. shale gas may not be the panacea being touted by Japan's politicians and companies to sharply reduce the country's crippling energy bills. Japan's government last month said it will provide loan guarantees of 1 trillion yen ($10.47 billion) for investments in shale gas, which the Nikkei business daily has said could cut imported gas costs by as much as 40 percent. Japanese utilities such as Tokyo Electric Power Co, Tokyo Gas Co and trading houses including Mitsui & Co are signing contracts and building extra facilities to import U.S. shale gas. REUTERS/Les Stone/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT ENERGY)
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