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Japanese PM Pledges Less Dependence On Nuclear Energy

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Thursday reiterated his government's commitment to reducing the country's dependence on nuclear energy in the wake of last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Addressing a gathering that assembled in Nagasaki on the occasion of the 67th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the city, he also renewed his pledge to honor Japan's Constitution and the three principles of not allowing production, possession and entry of nuclear arms. He said the pledge had the ultimate goal of abolishing all such weapons and establishing eternal peace in the world.

Noda vowed to continue global efforts to promote a nuclear weapon-free world and promised to support measures to pass down the experiences of atomic bomb survivors to younger generations around the world, Japanese media reported.

The Prime Minister said his government would do whatever possible to decontaminate and rebuild areas affected by radiation after the Fukushima nuclear accident and help residents in resuming normal life as quickly as possible.

More than 5,000 people, including atomic bomb survivors and victims' families, attended a ceremony held at the Peace Park in Nagasaki. U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos and a grandson of former American President Harry S. Truman, who authorized the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, were among those attended the ceremony which started with placing at the cenotaph an updated list of 158,754 people killed in the bombings. It incorporates the names of 3,305 who died or were confirmed dead in the past year. A silent prayer was offered at 11:02 a.m., the exact time when the bomb exploded above the city 67 years ago.

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue delivered the Peace Declaration. Referring to the Fukushima nuclear accident, he urged the central government to lay out new energy policy goals to build a society free from the fear of radiation.

The mayor also urged the government to lead global efforts to seek total elimination of nuclear weapons. He said it was essential to ban not only the use of nuclear weapons but everything from their development to their deployment to ensure that Nagasaki was the last city to suffer from a nuclear attack.

by RTT Staff Writer

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