It's the crisis that just keeps coming. Leaks of radioactive water from the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactor have alarmed Japan's neighbors.

And cast a shadow over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's can-do administration - which for once, looks at a loss.

Trade and economics minister Toshimitsu Motegi recently admitted that the government bears some - but not all - responsibility for the issue.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE MINISTER OF ECONOMY, TRADE AND INDUSTRY, TOSHIMITSU MOTEGI, SAYING:

"It is undeniable that the response to the contaminated water problem has been incoherent...The decommissioning and work of dealing with the contaminated water - the daily operation in other words - will have to be handled by the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric, which has to have the actual responsibility."

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, YONGGI KANG, SAYING:

"So, why this ambivalent approach? Well first, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has long promoted the use of nuclear power. And secondly, there's Abenomics. Abe has scored some successes in his drive to revitalize the economy - and he needs to keep the momentum going."

Before the earthquake that sparked the Fukushima crisis, around 30 percent of Japan's electricity was generated by its nuclear reactors. But with most plants going idle since, the country's turned to imported fossil fuels.

And the same weak yen that has cheered Japan's exporters - has made those imported fuels a lot more expensive.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JP MORGAN, CHIEF EMERGING MARKETS & ASIAN EQUITY STRATEGIST, ADRIAN MOWAT, SAYING:

"If the nuclear power plants aren't restarted as we go into the winter months, you're probably talking about 250,000 barrels of oil-equivalent extra being required by Japan."

Despite the costs, many Japanese remain against putting the idle reactors back online.

Take responsibility and put a stop to nuclear power! Don't pollute nature any more than you already have.

The government wants to restart reactors in other areas...It's like starting a new battle at the end of World War II. Do they understand anything?

So what are Abe's options?

Independent providers say more electricity could be generated from gas and renewables if the government paved the way for smaller companies like Ennet to enter the heavily monopolized utility sector.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) ENNET CORPORATION, PRESIDENT & CEO, HIROAKI IKEBE, SAYING:

"I think the key to Abenomics' success is whether or not he can pull off a concrete policy change. If customers had more of a choice in who their provider is, the competition between suppliers would lead to an increase in service, and more choices will appear."

So while Abe's been praised for his bold moves to boost growth - he will need tackle even more ambitious reforms or risk seeing this crisis trickle further into the economy.

ENDS