Japan’s imperial couple on Thursday met survivors of last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited a homeless shelter in Asahi City, one of the areas worst affected by the disaster.
Thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed there and at least 13 residents killed.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has been criticised by the opposition and his own Democratic Party for his handling of relief operations.
Opposition leader Sadakayu Tanigaki has hinted they could table a no-confidence motion calling on Kan to quit.
Japanese police are now looking for victims within a 10 kilometres zone in and around the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant.
Officers believe that as many as 1,000 bodies are in the area, but their retrieval has been hampered by heightened radiation fears.