A government energy affairs official sought understanding Thursday from Niigata Gov. Hideyo Hanazumi about restarting Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings' Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in central Japan.

Yoshifumi Murase, commissioner of the industry ministry's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, handed the governor a document stating the central government's policy of taking procedures carefully to restart nuclear reactors that meet the regulatory standards while obtaining the understanding of local communities.

The Jan. 1 earthquake in the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture, a Niigata neighbor, "has triggered a sense of anxiety" among Niigata residents, Hanazumi said, calling for further efforts to secure safe evacuation routes in the event of an emergency.