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Ex-PM Koizumi repeats call for 'zero nuclear power plants'

SAPPORO (Kyodo) -- Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Saturday repeated his call for Japan's complete departure from nuclear energy as the country marked the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    "Nuclear power plants will become a negative legacy for future generations," Koizumi said at an event organized by a civic group in Sapporo.

    The group is seeking the decommissioning of nuclear reactors at Hokkaido Electric Power Co.'s Tomari power station on Japan's northernmost main island.

    "(Japan) can become a much better country with zero nuclear power plants, harnessing natural energy," Koizumi said, adding it will not be so difficult to replace nuclear energy with renewable energy if technological innovation advances.

    After his speech, Koizumi criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policy which promotes restarting nuclear plants most of which remain offline and exporting nuclear reactors.

    "If the prime minister said 'zero (nuclear power),' the situation will greatly change. I don't know why he can't understand this," Koizumi said.

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