Naoto Kan, the Japanese prime minister, has visited some villages hit by last month’s earthquake and tsunami.
This is the first time he has viewed the devastation from the ground. He will also travel to Fukushima prefecture to show support to workers battling radiation at a damaged nuclear plant.
The Japanese prime minister has come under criticism from some quarters for not taking a leading role in dealing with the disaster.
Al Jazeera’s Marga Ortigas reports from Yamagata, Japan.