The central government will further expand its aid to those affected by the New Year's Day earthquake that rocked the Noto Peninsula, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said during his visit to the disaster area Saturday.

"We will work together to help people in disaster areas to restore their normal lives," Kishida said at an evacuation center in the town of Anamizu, Ishikawa Prefecture.

The prime minister apparently intends to reflect firsthand opinions from affected people in the government's restoration and reconstruction support measures.

This is Kishida's second visit to the area hit by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake.

An elderly man at the evacuation center told the prime minister that about 540 people hope to move into 280 planned reconstruction housing units.

Kishida said that the government will "firmly support" the construction of such housing, adding that fiscal concerns should not hinder the project.

Later in the day, Kishida traveled to the city of Wajima, in Ishikawa, and viewed damage to the Shiroyone Senmaida terraced rice fields that overlook the Sea of Japan.