Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Royal couple visit quake victims

Minami-Sanriku Mayor Jin Sato discusses earthquake damage with Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko (AP)

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have visited Japan's north-eastern coast, offering encouragement to residents who lost homes and loved ones in last month's earthquake and tsunami.

The royal couple visited a school gymnasium where 200 people live in the town of Minami-Sanriku, 250 miles north-east of Tokyo.

As the emperor and empress drove into the school, crowds waved excitedly and snapped pictures at the passing vehicle, some running to keep up.

Noriko Oikawa was moved to tears as she cradled her one-year-old daughter, saying: "He's so busy yet took the time to visit us."

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