LONDON--Emperor Akihito, currently visiting Britain with Empress Michiko, on May 17 spoke in English at the Japanese Embassy here to thank an audience of about 100 Britons who assisted Japan following last year's Great East Japan Earthquake.
"Your kind and practical response has, I presume, further strengthened the deep friendship that has already existed for such a long time between the peoples of our two countries," the emperor said.
Phillida Purvis, one of the attendees invited to the occasion, helped create a foundation to assist civil rebuilding efforts in areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami.
Purvis, 54, who once served at the British Embassy in Tokyo, left Britain's Diplomatic Service following her marriage. She later became engaged in efforts to reconcile former British soldiers who fell captive to the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II with former Japanese soldiers who fought on the Burmese front.
The London-based Japan Society, where her husband, Christopher Purvis, 61, serves as chairman, set up a Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund, commonly known as the Rose Fund, in the aftermath of last year's disaster. The fund collected about 700,000 pounds ($1.1 million, or 87.6 million yen) in donations in Britain.
Under partnership with a nonprofit organization in Sendai, the Rose Fund in June last year helped set up the Sanaburi Foundation, which extends grants to disaster-ravaged parts of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
Phillida Purvis said Emperor Akihito thanked her in person after she told him about her activities. She said she wished to continue pursuing international exchange programs.
- « Prev
- Next »