Crown Prince, Princess visit disaster evacuees in Fukushima

Kyodo

Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako took a day trip to Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sunday to visit people who lost their homes in March 2011 because of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.

The couple last visited Fukushima in July 2011, but made a trip last month to neighboring Miyagi Prefecture to speak with the evacuees.

In Koriyama, the couple were greeted by around 50 of the 80 people who got stuck in temporary housing after fleeing Futaba, one of the two towns that host the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Crown Prince Naruhito expressed sympathy to Kisa Horikawa, 76, a quake survivor who lost her husband about three months ago.

Crown Princess Masako told another evacuee, “Please, be careful about your health.”

The couple also visited a facility that gauges radiation in food, and dropped by Pep Kids Koriyama, an indoor playground where around 240 children and parents were present.

Fukushima Prefecture runs the radiation measuring facility to help the farmers, who have been damaged by fears their produce is tainted with radioactive fallout from the three core meltdowns at the plant.

On Friday, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess met with Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, and were briefed about the situation at the plant, including the ongoing leaks of radiation-contaminated water.