A bill to extend the operating period of nuclear power plants to over 60 years — providing safety conditions are met — passed the Upper House on Wednesday, paving the way for a comprehensive overhaul of Japan’s nuclear policy.

The ruling coalition led by the Liberal Democratic Party, with the external support of two opposition parties — the Democratic Party for the People and Nippon Ishin no Kai — voted in favor of the bill, while other opposition forces on the left and center-left vocally opposed the legislation, saying that proposals to guarantee the safety of nuclear power plants were insufficient.

Answering questions from the opposition during a parliamentary committee meeting Tuesday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said “I recognize that even under this new system, there is no way to achieve zero risk. It is important for both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is the regulatory authority, and (plant) operators to continue to work together to reduce risks to avoid another tragic accident.”