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Japanese PM vows to reduce reliance on nuclear energy

(Xinhua)

11:50, August 06, 2011

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan (R) delivers a speech during the service to commemorate the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on August 6, 2011. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Saturday reaffirmed the need to reduce the country's reliance on nuclear energy at a ceremony in Hiroshima to mark the 66th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack.

Kan said in his speech that Japan would examine the causes of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and aim for a society that would not depend on nuclear power generation.

In an annual peace declaration, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui also urged the Japanese government to review its energy policy following the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant.

The nuclear crisis at the crippled plant was the world's worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl explosion. It was triggered by the devastating March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami. The facility is still leaking radioactive substances into environment.

"Many citizens are still at risk of radiation exposure, and this disaster has confirmed our worst fears about the potential dangers of nuclear energy," Takashi Kijima, chairperson of the Hiroshima City Council, said in his speech.

Representatives from 66 countries and regions attended Saturday's peace ceremony.

A nuclear bomb was detonated over Hiroshima at an altitude of some 600 meters at the end of World War II, killing an estimated 140,000 people in 1945. A second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945 and Japan surrendered six days later.

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