Imperial couple briefed on child poverty

NHK -- Jul 23

Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have been briefed on efforts to support children living in poverty amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

The couple met on Tuesday with senior officials of the Cabinet Office and the head of KIDSDOOR, a non-profit organization that helps poor children. The briefing lasted for about 90 minutes.

The couple reportedly expressed concern, when they were told that about 40 percent of the activities aimed at providing needy children with meals had been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

When they were told that the introduction of online classes helped familiarize children with the Internet, the Emperor reportedly expressed hope that the classes would make the children's futures brighter.

The Emperor donated 50 million yen, or about 468,000 dollars, this April to help finance projects for children, including those living in poverty. Some of the funds are being used to support online learning.

KIDSDOOR leader Watanabe Yumiko says she wants to convey the Emperor and Empress' feelings of support to the children.

Jul 23 (ANNnewsCH) - 天皇皇后両陛下は21日、子どもの貧困問題に取り組む団体からコロナ禍における支援の現状などについて説明を受けられました。  両陛下は21日午後、経済的に苦しい状況に置かれている子どもを地域で育てる取り組みを行う団体などから約1時間半にわたって新型コロナウイルスの感染が広まるなかでの支援の現状や課題について説明を受けられました。宮内庁によりますと、両陛下は学習支援や子ども食堂について熱心に話を聞かれていたということです。  NPO法人・栗林知絵子理事長:「子育てを実際されていらっしゃるので、すごく関心を持ってうなずきながら聞いて下さってすごくうれしかったです」  天皇陛下は子どもの貧困問題に取り組む基金に5000万円を寄付されていて、一部がコロナ禍でのオンラインの学習支援などに活用されます。