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Efforts by a citizens’ group to hold a plebiscite in Osaka on the future of nuclear power hit a major stumbling block when Mayor Toru Hashimoto formally announced his opposition to the plan this week.

Earlier this month, the group pushing for a plebiscite to allow residents to vote on whether to abolish local atomic power plants submitted a petition with the signatures of more than 55,000 Osaka residents eligible to vote. The total is more than the number required to force the municipal assembly to vote on whether to hold the referendum.

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