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China, Japan vie for influence over Southeast Asia's decarbonization

TOKYO -- Landlocked Southeast Asian nation Laos is at the forefront of shifting dynamics in Asia, as the decarbonization strategies of various countries -- including Japan -- collide with China's Belt and Road Initiative to create a struggle for influence.

The Mekong River originates in the Tibetan Plateau in China, runs through mainland Southeast Asia and empties into the South China Sea in Vietnam. Tracing one of the tributaries in Laos leads to the Nam Ngiep 1 hydroelectric power plant, built and operated by Japan's Kansai Electric Power and others.