Japan's royal couple visits disaster-stricken town

Updated: 2011-04-27 14:23


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Japan's royal couple visits disaster-stricken town
Minamisanriku town mayor Jin Sato (L) explains the damages to Japanese Emperor Akihito (C) and Empress Michiko as they stand near the playground of Isatomae Elementary School, at the area which was devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Minamisanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture April 27, 2011. [Photo/Agencies] 

MINAMI-SANRIKU -- Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are visiting Japan's tsunami-battered northeastern coast, offering encouragement to residents who lost homes and loved ones in last month's disaster.

The widely respected royal couple visited a school gymnasium where 200 people live in the town of Minami-Sanriku, 250 miles (400 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo.

As the emperor and empress drove into the school driveway Wednesday, the crowds waved excitedly and snapped pictures at the passing vehicle, some running to keep up.

Noriko Oikawa was moved to tears as she cradled her 1-year-old daughter, saying: "He's so busy yet took the time to visit us."



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