The Tokyo publishing house Suemori Books Co. has recently published in a bilingual booklet Empress Michiko’s speech from a children’s book congress in Basel, Switzerland.

The book, titled “From Basel — To People Who Bring Children and Books Together,” includes the original English speech delivered in September by the Empress and its Japanese translation.

Empress Michiko gave the speech at the opening ceremony of a congress commemorating the 50th anniversary of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).

The 92-page book also includes photos of the Empress at the event as well as explanations about her involvement with children’s books and IBBY. Illustrations were drawn by award-winning painter Mitsumasa Anno.

“Grown-ups who have found the joy of reading in childhood and experienced the power of the printed words wish that the same opportunities be given to every child,” Empress Michiko said in her speech.

Suemori Books has also published her prerecorded video speech for the 1998 IBBY meeting in India, in which she describes her reading experiences as a young girl. The booklet is titled “Hashi wo Kakeru” (“Bridging”). It was translated into Chinese and Russian.

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