Thanks to your great support, this year will mark the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Japanese Red Cross Society
The 140th anniversary of the foundation of the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) will be on May 8, 2017. We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude and appreciation to each and every one of you who have made donations for our activities and to all the members and volunteers who have engaged in our humanitarian activities. To celebrate this anniversary, we are planning to hold various events across Japan through the JRCS membership drive in May. We are looking forward to seeing you at these events.
Looking back on the history of the JRCS, we can see that it started with the biggest and last rebellion of samurai warriors in the Seinan Civil War in 1877. There were a large number of dead and wounded in the fierce battles of Tabaruzaka and the battle over Kumamoto Castle, which was affected by the Kumamoto earthquake last year. In order to save the wounded without regard to their side in the battle, Hakuaisha, the predecessor of JRCS, was established by Tsunetami Sano, Genroingikan (Councilor of Chamber of Elders) and others. As they obtained permission for this establishment from the Governor-General's Office on May 1, 1877 that day was declared as the founding date of the JRCS.
Now we have already expanded the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society networks to over 190 countries and implemented various aids and support activities for humanitarian crises, including conflicts, disasters, and outbreak of infectious diseases. We are not only engaged in emergency response activities and reconstruction support, but also we assign the JRCS doctors and nurses as members of medical support to areas of conflicts. However, the humanitarian needs are expanding every year due to prolonged conflicts and the increasing number of natural disasters caused by climate change. Therefore, we should consider how to handle these challenges as the JRCS.
“Save the suffering people.” What can we do in order to fulfil this mission in the world? How to prepare for the future to save these people? We sincerely hope the 140th anniversary marks the further moving forward in the direction of our current and future vision of the JRCS.
Newsletter, January 2017 by JRCS