Atomic power has emerged as a key issue ahead of Japan's election this Sunday. The country has faced political deadlock amid a slumping economy, territorial disputes and the fallout of its 2011 national disaster.
Japan will keep nuclear power as an important source of energy, according to the country's latest energy plan. The move comes despite widespread public unease over the technology following the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
The US is stepping up efforts to defend Japan against threats from North Korea and China. Several disputed islands in the South and East China Sea have the potential to threaten the stability of the entire region.
Japan has observed a moment of silence to mark the third anniversary of the quake-tsunami disaster that sparked the Fukushima nuclear crisis. The country has continued to struggle with massive cleanup efforts.
Emboldened by the election of a pro-nuclear governor of Tokyo, Japan's utilities and national government are setting their sights on having 10 reactors operational by the summer.
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