The city hosting the Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture has decided to approve a resumption of operations at the facility, highlighting a conflict between people who benefit from the largesse of the industry and those who do not.

Assembly members in Satsumasendai voted 19-4 to restart the reactors as soon as possible in an almost 3½-hour meeting interrupted frequently by the shouts of protesters opposing the measure.

The two reactors are the first of Japan's atomic plants in line to restart under tougher safety rules set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, the agency created after the March 2011 Fukushima disaster to restore confidence in the industry. Japan's 48 operable reactors are idle and their future is creating a deep divide over atomic power.