Japanese Imperial couple to visit Fukushima province

Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have set off for the northeastern Fukushima prefecture, devastated by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, the NHK TV channel said on its website on Wednesday.

The Imperial couple, who earlier visited the tsunami-devastated Miyagi and Ivate prefectures, left Tokyo onboard a plane of Japan’s Self Defense Forces.

They plan to visit the city of Fukushima and meet with the prefecture’s governor and other local authorities.

The March 11 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami in Japan claimed at least 14,919 lives and triggered a number of explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

The Japanese government has said the damage from the disaster could total $310 billion.


MOSCOW, May 11 (RIA Novosti)

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