updated 4/10/2014 8:34:53 PM ET 2014-04-11T00:34:53

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Cabinet on Friday approved a new energy policy, reversing the previous government's plans to gradually mothball nuclear power plants following the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

The plan defines nuclear as an "important baseload power source" and says Japan will do as much as possible to increase renewable energy supplies, Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a news conference after the Cabinet meeting.

The Japanese public remains nervous of atomic power three years after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami destroyed Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, triggering the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Ed Davies)

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