Japan's Imperial Couple visit quake-hit areas in Ishikawa Prefecture

Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have arrived in Ishikawa Prefecture to visit Noto Peninsula communities damaged by the powerful earthquake on January 1.

The couple arrived at Noto Satoyama Airport before 11:00 a.m. on Friday aboard a flight from Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

In the afternoon, they will fly to the cities of Wajima and Suzu on a Japan Self-Defense Force helicopter.

Arrangements have been made for the couple to inspect the extent of damage and to visit evacuation centers and meet quake survivors. They are also expected to meet people who have been engaged in disaster-response efforts.

This is the second time since the Emperor assumed the throne that the couple has visited areas still suffering from the impact of a natural disaster.