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Imperial Couple to visit quake victims, rescue workers in Hokkaido

A large landslide caused by an earthquake is seen from a Mainichi Shimbun aircraft in the town of Atsuma, Hokkaido, on Sept. 6, 2018. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will visit the town of Atsuma in southwestern Hokkaido on Nov. 15 and meet with victims of the major Sept. 6 earthquake, rescue workers and other officials.

The Imperial Couple's plans were submitted to the Cabinet Nov. 13.

Atsuma, with its 36 deaths, was among the areas hit hardest by the deadly quake, which killed 41 people overall in Japan's northernmost prefecture. The jolt also triggered a prefecture-wide blackout that disrupted transportation systems, affecting many tourists including international visitors.

The Imperial Couple have paid significant attention to the earthquake victims, and even invited Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi to the Imperial Palace to hear more about the response to the disaster.

On their Nov. 15 visit, the Emperor and the Empress will fly to New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido on a special plane, and travel to Atsuma by car. They will examine the site of the deadly landslides.

(Japanese original by Nao Yamada, City News Department)

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