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Japan set to reduce nuclear reliance: minister

Source:  Copyright 2011, Reuters
Date:  September 19, 2011
Byline:  Michael Shields and Fredrik Dahl
Original URL: Status ONLINE
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There is political consensus in Japan to cut the country's reliance on nuclear power but there needs to be a public debate on how to proceed, a senior Japanese government official told the U.N.'s atomic agency on Monday.

Nuclear Disaster Minister Goshi Hosono was speaking hours after 60,000 demonstrators marched in Tokyo to demand an exit from atomic energy after the Fukushima plant catastrophe.

"In Japan there is a kind of consensus that we would like to reduce the dependency on nuclear power, but the speed with which that would be achieved or the method that would be used to attain such a target has yet to be identified," Hosono told a news conference.

"Perhaps it will take a full year to discuss with the wider public in Japan to identify how energy policy should be."

New Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, taking office with virtually no cohesive energy policy in place since the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years, has said ...

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