A Japanese mayor has approved the restarting of two nuclear reactors that would be the first brought back online since last year's earthquake and tsunami led to a complete shutdown across the country.
All 50 of Japan's workable reactors are offline because of safety concerns or for maintenance since the March 11 disaster touched off the Fukushima crisis. Public opposition to nuclear power remains high.
The two reactors in the western town of Ohi could be restarted as soon as this weekend.
Ohi Mayor Shinobu Tokioka said Thursday he backed the plan because he is concerned about possible power shortages and the economic impact of keeping the plant closed.
The prime minister will give final approval. The government says nuclear energy is crucial to Japan's economy.