Japan's imports of fuel to power nuclear plants were close to zero last year, reflecting the stagnating nuclear industry following the Fukushima disaster in 2011, official trade data showed Tuesday.

The effective halt to imports of uranium — enriched, natural or their assemblies — is believed to be the first since the resource-poor country started securing the materials from overseas in the 1960s.

Most nuclear plants in Japan remain idle as stricter safety measures were implemented after a massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami crippled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex. The operations of fuel manufacturing plants have also been suspended.