Japan's Imperial Couple Visit Fukushima Evacuees

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Japan's emperor and empress have been visiting victims of March's deadly earthquake and tsunami... offering what hope they can in their country's time of need. The quake and tsunami left more than 18-thousand dead in its wake.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko made their last visit of disaster-struck northern Japan in Fukushima on Wednesday.

The Imperial couple has been touring the disaster-hit areas for weeks. They hope to provide some comfort to the crowds that still pack stadiums and gymnasiums eight weeks after they fled their homes.

In Fukushima, most have evacuated to safer ground after the nuclear crisis forced the government to set a no-go zone around the nuclear plant.

At the evacuation center, the emperor and Empress Michiko both kneeled down each time they spoke with evacuees.

The emperor and empress have long played a role comforting the public in tough times.

[Takanori Seto, Fukushima Mayor]:
"Both the emperor and the empress are very well informed from watching the news about the situation of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and they seemed really saddened about the situation."

The magnitude 9.0 quake and massive tsunami that followed knocked out the cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing it to leak radiation.