The defeat of two anti-nuclear candidates, including former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, in Sunday's Tokyo gubernatorial election has given the central government a boost of confidence as it prepares to move forward with an energy policy supporting the use of atomic power.

"We plan to compile a feasible and balanced Basic Energy Plan (for medium- to long-term energy policy)," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a Diet committee Monday morning.

Nevertheless, Hosokawa's attempt to focus attention on nuclear policy — a politically sensitive issue since the Fukushima nuclear crisis started in 2011 — appears to have put more pressure on Abe's government to refrain from rushing toward endorsing a draft energy plan that has been criticized for its strong pro-nuclear tone.