For the first time since July 2011, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako visited some of the Great East Japan Earthquake refugees in Fukushima who have not yet been able to return home. They have been living temporarily in Koriyama because of the still ongoing issues at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, site of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
The royal couple was greeted by the refugees from Futaba, one of the two towns near the Fukushima nuclear plant that were affected by the meltdown. 50 of the 80 refugees who were still in temporary housing were able to meet and speak with the couple as they made their rounds. Prince Naruhito spoke with 76-year-old Kisa Horikawa whose husband died three months ago, while Princess Masako reminded the others to be careful about their health. They also paid a visit later on to Pep Kids Koriyama, an indoor playground for children.
The couple later on went to visit a facility that checks the radiation levels of the different food that comes out of Fukushima. This was created in order to help the farmers of the prefecture whose livelihood have been damaged because of the fears that their produce were affected by the fallout from the nuclear plant’s meltdown. Before their trip, the royal couple met with Nuclear Regulation Authority chairman Shunichi Tanaka and were briefed about the situation in Fukushima, including the ongoing leakage problem at the plant.
[ via Kyodo News ]