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. The trip may be postponed to early April in the case of bad weather.

The visit 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, which were hit by a typhoon that year.

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

While deeply saddened by the tremendous damage from the quake, the imperial couple had been refraining from a trip to affected areas, due to concerns that an Imperial visit would burden local people.

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