Prime Minister Kishida Fumio paid his first visit since taking office to the coastal regions of northeastern Japan affected by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
On Saturday, the first day of a two-day trip, Kishida offered flowers and a silent prayer at a memorial to the victims in Rikuzentakata town, Iwate prefecture.
Kishida then sat down with people from the local fishing industry at a fish market in the town of Ofunato, where he heard about the continued bad catches of safflower and salmon.
He said the government must consider ways to alleviate volatile incomes in its large-scale economic measures to help their efforts bear fruit.
In the afternoon, he moved to Ishinomaki Town, in neighboring Miyagi Prefecture. After offering flowers and a silent prayer at a memorial, Kishida inspected a factory that produces “kamaboko” fish cakes.
He then sat down and spoke with people from the tourism industry in Matsushima City, including owners of hotels and souvenir shops. They exchanged views on the impact of the pandemic on the local economy.
Kishida is expected to visit Fukushima prefecture on Sunday. Its itinerary includes a visit to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.