The Diet on Friday approved the appointment of Toyoshi Fuketa as new chief of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, replacing Shunichi Tanaka, who led the revamped body since it was launched in the wake the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011.

The appointment of the NRA's acting chairman to the post was decided with the approval of the House of Representatives after the House of Councilors gave it the nod on Wednesday.

Fuketa, 59, whose views on nuclear safety are considered close to Tanaka's, has said he will continue to enforce strict safety rules on nuclear reactors.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, keen to retain nuclear power generation, had asked Tanaka, a radiation physicist to stay on, but the 72-year-old declined, citing health and other reasons. His term ends in September.

For nuclear reactors to resume operations, they need to clear safety rules that were made more stringent after the triple core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which was triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Although Abe's team is pushing to restart nuclear reactors, most remain offline amid safety concerns raised by the Fukushima disaster.

Fuketa, who hails from Ibaraki Prefecture, has been a member of the Nuclear Regulation Authority since it was set up as an independent organization to take charge of atomic safety in 2012. He became acting chairman in 2014.

Prior to his approval, Fuketa told a hearing at the Lower House committee that he will "continue the strict screening" process for nuclear power plants as chief of the regulatory agency.

Responding to a question by a lawmaker on whether safety screenings for nuclear reactors were taking too long, Fuketa said he "would not compromise on safety."