Japan must restart two nuclear reactors to protect the country's economy and livelihoods, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has said in a televised broadcast.
Measures to ensure the safety of two reactors at western Japan's Ohi nuclear plant have been undertaken, he said.
Since last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan's 50 reactors have been shut down for routine maintenance.
The crisis fueled immense public opposition to nuclear power, but Japan is facing a summer of power shortages.
Japan's last nuclear shut down for routine maintenance was in May. When the third reactor at the Tomari plant in Hokkaido prefecture was switched off, Japan was left without energy from atomic power for the first time in more than 40 years.