As Japan continues to tackle the novel coronavirus pandemic, Crown Prince Fumihito and his family made 300 medical gowns by hand earlier this month and donated them for use by health care workers.
The crown prince and his wife, Crown Princess Kiko, together with their three children and some staff members of the Imperial Household Agency started making the gowns using plastic bags after hearing that protective gear was in short supply, according to the agency.
The family also included handwritten messages of appreciation along with the gowns, hailing frontline workers for their hard work in saving lives.
About 100 gowns were delivered on May 15 and 200 more on May 22 to the Saiseikai Imperial Gift Foundation Inc., a social welfare organization where the crown prince serves as president, for distribution to its hospitals across the country.
Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko, along with their daughters Princess Mako and Princess Kako, first learned on May 11 during an online videoconference with the foundation's officials that hospital staff have been making gowns out of garbage bags due to shortages amid the fight against the new coronavirus.
Prince Hisahito, the couple's youngest child who did not attend the videoconference, also took part in making the gowns.
"All the words (of encouragement) and the gowns that were so thoughtfully made have brought courage once again to the hearts of hospital staff who have been faced with the fear of infection and disheartened by discrimination by some members of the public," a foundation official said on its website.
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