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New PM: Japan should aim to reduce nuclear power (AP)

TOKYO – Japan's new prime minister has promised to restart nuclear plants following safety checks ordered after the crisis at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda also said Tuesday in his first policy speech since taking office two weeks ago that the country should reduce its reliance on atomic energy over the long term, but offered no specifics.

More than 30 of Japan's 54 reactors have been idled, causing electricity shortages amid sweltering summer temperatures.

Noda also said he would press ahead with the recovery of the tsunami-battered northeastern region, calling on his fellow citizens not to forget "the spirit of dignity of all Japanese" in the face of disaster.

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