Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga traveled Thursday to Miyagi and Iwate prefectures to survey the ongoing recovery efforts from the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster for the first time since he assumed office in September.

"I believe there are numerous issues, but I would like you to tell me about them without hesitation," Suga said upon receiving an explanation from Iwao Atsumi, mayor of Higashimatsushima in Miyagi Prefecture, about the current situation in the city.

"We will respond accordingly," Suga added.

The prime minister offered flowers and prayed at the Ishinomaki Minamihama Tsunami Recovery Memorial Park before visiting a commercial facility in Ishinomaki in the prefecture.

He continued onward to Iwate Prefecture and visited Takatamatsubara Tsunami Reconstruction Memorial Park alongside Katsuei Hirasawa, minister for disaster reconstruction.

"The reconstructions have entered the final phase. We will do all we can," Suga told reporters in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, after wrapping up his visits to the two prefectures.