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“The Japanese economy would be badly hurt, and Japanese people would have to endure a very low-energy life like a lot of people experienced last summer,” he said. “But longer term, you don’t know.”

Saying the nuclear-free route should remain “on the table,” Mr. Yuzaki urged his federal government to “open that discussion to the public.”

A recent Associated Press-Gfk poll found that 55 percent of Japanese adults want to reduce the number of Japanese reactors while 35 percent are satisfied with the current number.