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Emperor, Empress to visit Fukushima Pref. in June

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Emperor and Empress will visit Fukushima Prefecture for three days from June 9, the Imperial Household Agency has said.

During their ninth trip to the prefecture since the Emperor’s enthronement, and the sixth since the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident, the Imperial couple will take part in the 69th National Tree-Planting Festival, to be held in the city of Minamisoma on June 10.

It will be their last appearance in the annual festival before the Emperor’s scheduled abdication at the end of April next year.

According to the agency, the Emperor and Empress will on June 9 visit a public housing complex in the city of Iwaki to meet with evacuees from areas hit by the fallout from the triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The Imperial couple will then move to Spa Resort Hawaiians in the city to watch a Polynesian performance by hula dancers.

On June 10, they will enter Minamisoma after traveling on the Joban Expressway through areas where residents are still advised not to return due to radiation concerns, to mourn 2011 disaster victims at a memorial monument in the Shidoke district and attend the festival’s ceremony, which will take place at a site to develop a coastal disaster prevention forest.

The Emperor and Empress will return to Tokyo on June 11, after offering flowers at another disaster memorial in the Haragama district of the city of Soma and visiting some other places including a memorial hall for late composer Yuji Koseki in the city of Fukushima.Speech

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