Emperor and his family briefed on Noto quake damage, reconstruction

Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako and their daughter Princess Aiko were briefed on the massive earthquake that hit the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture.

The Imperial family heard about the extent of damage, rescue operations, and the recovery in infrastructure from Meteorological Agency Director-General Mori Takashi and the Cabinet Office bureaucrat in charge of disaster management, Takahashi Kenji, on Tuesday.

Imperial Household Agency officials say the family were surprised to hear that the quake caused extensive seabed upheavals.

The officials also say the family were worried whether evacuation shelters have enough emergency supplies, and expressed concern over challenges facing reconstruction efforts in the peninsula.

Princess Aiko asked questions about volunteer activities. She is due to start working for the Japanese Red Cross Society from April.

On Monday, the Emperor was briefed on the tsunami that followed the quake, landslides, water outages and toilet issues from Professor Hiroki Kenzo of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

The Emperor is said to have expressed concern about people who experienced the disaster in harsh winter conditions.

The agency plans to arrange a visit to disaster-hit areas by the Emperor and Empress at an appropriate time by taking the local situations into consideration.