Emperor, Empress to Visit Quake-Hit Noto Peninsula on Friday

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Imperial Palace

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will visit Ishikawa Prefecture’s Noto Peninsula on Friday to meet people affected by the magnitude-7.6 New Year’s Day earthquake, officials said Tuesday.

The Imperial couple will visit evacuation facilities in the cities of Wajima and Suzu, according to the Imperial Household Agency. They will also meet with officials who have been working on disaster relief and other quake responses.

This will mark the Imperial couple’s second visit to a disaster-hit area since the Emperor’s enthronement in 2019 following their trip to Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures hit by a typhoon that year. The trip will be postponed to early April in bad weather.

The Emperor and the Empress will use a Self-Defense Forces helicopter during Friday’s trip after arriving at Noto Airport in Wajima.

While being saddened by the tremendous damage from the quake, the Imperial couple had been refraining from a trip to affected areas concerned that a visit will put a burden on local people.

In Friday’s trip, the Imperial couple will avoid overnight stays and long-distance travel by car and bring food from Tokyo, according to the agency.