RIKUZENTAKATE, Iwate Pref.: Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio visited the northeastern prefecture of Iwate on Saturday to check progress in the reconstruction of Pacific coast areas hit hard by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
It is Kishida’s first trip to areas affected by the disaster since taking office Oct. 4. He aims to hear opinions from locals to reflect them in his government’s postdisaster reconstruction and economic measures.
In the city of Rikuzentakata, Kishida offered flowers at a memorial park for victims of the tsunami and offered a silent prayer. Later, he was briefed on progress in reconstruction from Iwate Governor Takuya Tasso.
Kishida then moved to a fish market in the adjacent city of Ofunato and had talks with scallop and oyster farmers.
In the afternoon, Kishida will travel to Miyagi Prefecture, south of Iwate, and visit a community center in the city of Kesennuma.
On Sunday, he will visit Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station in Fukushima Prefecture, south of Miyagi. The nuclear plant was heavily damaged in the March 2011 disaster.