The mayor of a city north of Tokyo adjacent to the host village of the Tokai No.2 nuclear power plant has voiced opposition to putting its reactor back online.
The facility, operated by Japan Atomic Power Company, has met government requirements introduced after the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
It is also expected to win approval next month for extended operation, though it is 40 years old.
Attention is focused on whether the operator can obtain consent from Tokai Village, where the plant is located, and 5 nearby cities before it can restart the reactor.
Naka City Mayor Toru Umino on Wednesday met citizens opposed to the restart.
He said he has no choice but to say no, as it's impossible to draw up a plan to evacuate 960,000 residents in the area.
Umino is the first mayor among those of the 6 municipalities to voice opposition to the restart.
He later said he will ask the company whether the restart will be put on hold if even one of the 6 opposes the plan.