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Imperial couple in Fukushima

Jiji Press KORIYAMA, Fukushima (Jiji Press) — The Emperor and Empress arrived in Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday chiefly to attend an annual national tree-planting festival.

They will also view progress in the reconstruction work in areas affected by the March 2011 powerful earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear accident.

They first participated in the annual event in May 1989, after the Emperor acceded to the throne in January that year. The tree-planting festival that year took place in Tokushima Prefecture.

The 2018 event, to be held in the Fukushima city of Minamisoma on Sunday, will be the last for the couple, as the Emperor is set to abdicate at the end of April next year.

A hoe and other wooden items to be used by the couple in Sunday’s event are made of cedar trees that grew from seeds sown by Emperor and Empress Showa at the 21st tree-planting festival, held in the Fukushima town of Inawashiro in May 1970.Speech

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