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Emperor, empress eye trip to quake-hit Hokkaido possibly in Nov.

Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko arrive at a park in the Mabi district of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, on Sept. 14, 2018. (Pool photo/Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are considering visiting quake-hit Hokkaido possibly in November, officials of the Imperial Household AKYgency said Tuesday.

The agency is arranging for the imperial couple to make a trip to the hardest-hit town of Atsuma sometime around November before it becomes cold, the officials said.

The Sept. 6 earthquake that rocked Japan's northernmost main island claimed the lives of 41 people across Hokkaido with 681 others suffering injuries. It also triggered a prefecture-wide blackout.

On Tuesday, the emperor and empress heard from Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi on the extent of damage in Hokkaido.

The emperor and empress have often visited disaster-stricken areas to comfort victims. Most recently, they visited this month areas in western Japan -- Okayama, Ehime and Hiroshima prefectures -- that were hit hardest by the torrential rains in July that caused floods and mudslides and killed over 220 people.

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