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NEW YORK — As Hideo Hiraoka pushes to persuade leaders at the United Nations to advocate a nuclear-free Northeast Asia, he still remembers his first encounter with nuclear devastation at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum decades ago.

“That was my original starting point,” the 55-year-old executive director of the Democratic Party of Japan’s Nuclear Disarmament Group said on the sidelines of a recent meeting to prepare for the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.

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