Japanese Empress performs first solo official duty

TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - The Empress attended the Japanese Red Cross Society’s annual gathering in Tokyo, performing her first solo official duty on Wednesday.

The Empress performed her first solo official duty on Wednesday in her current capacity by attending the Japanese Red Cross Society’s annual gathering in Tokyo.
 The Empress became the society’s honorary president on May 1. The annual national assembly, held at the Meiji Jingu Kaikan hall in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, was also attended by honorary vice presidents Crown Princess Kiko, Princess Hanako of Hitachi, Princess Nobuko of Mikasa and Princess Hisako of Takamado. About 1,900 people participated overall. 
 The Empress presented medals of merit to a total of 13 individuals and representatives of groups for their contribution to promoting the society’s activities. 
 Last year, the Empress, who was the crown princess at that time, attended the assembly for the first time in 15 years as an honorary vice president. At the assembly, the now Empress Emerita invited the Empress to the front of the stage and introduced her as the society’s next honorary president.