History

The founder of the Japanese Red Cross Society Count Tsunetami Sano

The founder of the Japanese Red Cross Society Count Tsunetami Sano

1877: The Society was founded by Count Tsunetami Sano, as the Philanthropic Society, during the battles of the Southwestern Rebellion.

1886: The Japanese Government pledged to adhere to the Geneva Convention of 1864. The Society’s first hospital was established in Tokyo.

1887: The Philanthropic Society changed its name to the Japanese Red Cross Society and was recognised as such by the International Committee of the Red Cross on 2 September 1887. In July the Society first engaged in disaster relief by assisting casualties of the Mt. Bandai eruption.

1890: Training of nurses began at the Red Cross Hospital in Tokyo.

1906: The San Francisco earthquake and fire in April gave the Society its first opportunity to extend relief to a foreign country. The Society collected US$146,000 for the American Red Cross.

1912: On the occasion of the 9th International Conference of the Red Cross in Washington, D.C., Empress Shoken contributed 100,000 yen to the International Red Cross to encourage its peacetime activities and established the Empress Shoken Fund.

1919: The Society was one of the five National Societies that took the initiative in establishing the League of Red Cross Societies.

1920: The first Florence Nightingale Medals were awarded to three JRCS nurses.

1922: The Junior Red Cross was started at a school in Shiga Prefecture.

1923: On 1 September a major earthquake hit the Tokyo area, causing serious damage, and the JRCS conducted relief activities for the victims.

1926: The Society hosted the 2nd Oriental Red Cross Regional Conference.

1934: The Society hosted the 15th International Conference of the Red Cross.

1947: The Society created Home Nursing, First Aid, and Water Safety programmes similar to those of the American Red Cross.

1952: A new Japanese Red Cross law came into effect on 14 August, and new Japanese Red Cross statutes were implemented on 31 October.

1953: Japan became the 24th State to be party to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

1964: The Government Cabinet decision to promote blood donations, in place of blood sales and deposits, contributed to the rapid expansion of the Society’s blood programme, which had started on a modest scale in 1952.

1970: The Society hosted the Konnichiwa 70 Technical Seminar for the Southeast Asian and Pan-Pacific Regions in the Field of Red Cross Youth.

1977: In commemoration of its centenary, the Society hosted the 4th Asia and West Pacific Seminar on the Red Cross Blood Programme.

1983: The NHK International Helping Hand Campaign was launched as a joint event with the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK).

1986: As a measure to help prevent HIV/AIDS from spreading, the Society began screening for HIV positive antibodies at every blood centre starting in November.

1988: In September, at the government’s request, the Society began making payments to Taiwanese war-disabled and to the bereaved families of those who died as a result of being drafted into the Japanese army during World War II. This was done in cooperation with relevant organisations.

1991: In commemoration of the centenary of its Nursing Training Programme, the Society held a symposium, inviting instructors from all JRCS nursing schools and hospitals, aimed at training nurses in Japan to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

1995: The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake hit the Kobe area on 17 January causing serious damage, and the JRCS conducted relief activities for the victims.

1997: The Society celebrated its 120th anniversary.

1999: The International Humanitarian Law Forum was held in the Tokyo on 12 August to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

2002: The Society celebrated its 125th anniversary and 50th anniversary of the Law Governing the Japanese Red Cross Society.

2004: Japan became a party to the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions.
The Society hosted the 3rd International Red Cross and Red Crescent Donor Forum in Gotemb,Jaban.

2005: The International Red Cross and Red Crecent Movement participated in the EXPO AICHI JAPAN 2005.