National

Book marks Empress Michiko's 25th anniversary watching over Red Cross

Kyodo

A book marking the 25th anniversary of Empress Michiko becoming honorary president of the Japanese Red Cross Society has been published to show her activities with the organization.

She was appointed honorary deputy president of the organization in 1959, the year in which she married then-Crown Prince Akihito. She was made honorary president in 1989, when the couple assumed their current titles of Emperor and Empress.

The Empress has attended the annual Red Cross conference in Japan every year. She has also bestowed Florence Nightingale Medals, which are given by the International Committee of the Red Cross to honor nurses and other people of distinguished achievement.

“Kogo Heika Itsukushimi” (“Her Imperial Majesty: Compassion”), published by Sekai Bunka Publishing Inc., comes with many photos of her encouraging people involved in relief and rescue operations in disaster areas.

In a disaster-relief scene from the 1960s, she uses a sewing machine to make infant underwear. The book also shows other causes she has taken an interest in, including volunteer interpreters for the 1964 Paralympics in Tokyo.

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