The emperor hopes to support efforts to eliminate child poverty and organizations that aid those affected by disasters.

The new Reiwa era of Japanese history is well under way and while it started off with a bang, let’s be honest–it’s kind of gone downhill from there. But though the coronavirus has become a serious threat to the health of the world, the new emperor, Emperor Naruhito, is aware that there are many other problems within Japanese society that also need to be addressed, and so he has donated a total of 100 million yen (about US$920,000) of his private spending money to two worthy causes.

The Imperial Household Agency announced on April 6 that His Majesty the Emperor donated 50,000,000 yen each to two organizations that provide services to support society: the government-founded Foundation for the Support of the Children’s Future (Kodomo no Mirai Ouen Kiki), and the incorporated non-profit organization Japan Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (JVOAD). Emperor Emeritus Akihito also made a donation of the same amount to similar organizations when his son ascended the throne.

▼ Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako

The Foundation for Support of the Children’s Future’s mission is to work towards eliminating child poverty, while the Japan Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster offer support and resources for those affected by disasters. According to a representative from the Imperial Household Agency, “Their Majesties (the Emperor and Empress) wish to deepen the people’s understanding of the problem of child poverty, and the need to support the increasing numbers of volunteers who help people who were affected by the many disasters that occurred during the Heisei period [1989-2019].”

Of course, the donations are likely to help with coronavirus relief, as well. Shutting down businesses and closing offices has led to lost jobs and bankruptcies, which could result in the problem of poverty, including child poverty, becoming much worse in the near future. Undoubtedly such a generous gift to both organizations could help support more of those in need in these uncertain times.

▼ The JVOAD is also providing a free telephone consultation service for those struggling with a change in lifestyle due to coronavirus.

According to the constitution, the Japanese Cabinet must approve any donation proposed by the Emperor if the amount donated exceeds the yearly cap of 18,000,000 yen, but the proposal passed without any issue during the March session of the House of Councillors, and the Emperor was permitted to donate 100 million yen or less to organizations that provide social services by the end of March.

Source: Sankei News via Nico Nico News via My Game News Flash
Top image: Pakutaso
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