Chugoku Shinbun has the original article on the day when the last operating nuclear reactor at Tomari Nuclear Power Plant in Hokkaido went offline for scheduled maintenance.
In the article, the paper notes (5/6/2012):
It was 1966 that Tokai Nuclear Power Plant by Japan Atomic Power Company started commercial operation. The last time all nuclear reactors in Japan stopped was in 1970, and there were only two commercial nuclear reactors.
Through the oil crises in the 1970s, KEPCO [Kansai Electric] and TEPCO competed with each other to build nuclear power plants. With the support from the national government, other electric companies followed suit. In the 1990s, all 9 electric companies in Japan (except for Okinawa Electric) had nuclear power plants, and that has remained that way to this day.
In the fiscal 2010, nuclear power plants in Japan supplied 26.4% of total electricity. Right before the March 11, 2011 disaster, more than 30 reactors were in operation [out of 54 at that time].
The first oil crisis was in 1973-1974 due to the Arab oil embargo in response to the 4th Arab-Israeli War. The second oil crisis was in 1979 after the Iranian Revolution.
Japan was particularly hit hard by the first oil crisis. The inflation soared in 1974 to 23% annually, and to counter the inflation the government raised the short-term interest rate to nearly 10%. The post-war high growth era ended that year when the GDP growth went negative. Energy costs skyrocketed, as Japan depended on the oil from the Middle East.
Along came the nuclear power. Too good to be true, in retrospect, but it sure looked very attractive - energy source that was not hydrocarbon from the Middle East.
Here's the list of nuclear reactors that were built after the first oil crisis of 1973/4. The number in parenthesis indicates the year in which the construction of the reactor started. All over Japan, from Tohoku to Kyushu:
Fukushima II (Daini) Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 1 (1975), Reactor 2 (1979) - Fukushima Prefecture
Tokai II Nuclear Power Plant (1973) - Ibaraki Prefecture
Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 1 (1978) - Niigata Prefecture
Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 2 (1974) - Shizuoka Prefecture
Mihama Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 3 - Fukui Prefecture
Ooi Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 1, Reactor 2 - Fukui Prefecture
Ikata Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 1 (1973), Reactor 2 (1978) - Ehime Prefecture
Genkai Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 2 (late 1970s) - Saga Prefecture
By the way, the very first reactor at Tokai Nuclear Power Plant was a graphite-moderated gas-cooled reactor from the United Kingdom, modified in Japan to enhance seismic safety.