Crown Prince Akishino's family and government staff have made 300 medical gowns by hand for medical institutions, the front line of the battle against the new coronavirus.
The gowns were donated to the Saiseikai Imperial Gift Foundation, headed by the Crown Prince, the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito, with handwritten messages to cheer on and express gratitude to medical staff, according to the foundation.
Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko became interested in making such gowns after hearing about protective gear shortages at medical institutions in an online meeting with a senior foundation official and others on May 11 that was also attended by their daughters, Princess Mako and Princess Kako.
The family and Imperial Household Agency staff made the medical gowns out of plastic bags.
On May 15, 100 of the gowns were delivered to Tokyo Saiseikai Central Hospital, and the foundation's head office received the remaining 200 on Friday.
"We feel encouraged," a foundation official said.
In a message posted on the foundation's website, the Crown Prince expressed his gratitude to the foundation staff and medical workers across the country.