Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday said Japan "cannot do without" nuclear power, speaking on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the devastating Fukushima disaster.
On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake off Japan's northeastern coast sparked a massive tsunami that swept ashore leaving about 18,500 people dead or missing.
The wall of water also caused the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl when reactors melted down at the overwhelmed Fukushima power plant.
"Our resource-poor country cannot do without nuclear power to secure the stability of energy supply while considering what makes economic sense and the issue of climate change," Abe told a press conference.
His comment came a day after a Japanese court ordered the shutdown of two nuclear reactors previously declared safe under post-disaster safety rules.
Abe said the government would "not change its policy" in which reactors that meet the new standards can be restarted.