TOKYO (AP) _ Yaeko Nakamura, a woman adored as Japan's ``Mother Teresa'' for her dedication to orphans and the elderly, has died, relatives said Monday. She was 93.

Nakamura died Saturday at a hospital in the western city of Osaka, where she had been suffering from the effects of a stroke in June 1997.

Nakamura, joined by her husband Haruka, began her activities for the disadvantaged in 1931 by caring for the children of fishermen and others making their living on the waterfront near Osaka.

After their headquarters was destroyed during U.S. bombing raids in World War II, the Nakamuras moved to a northeastern suburb of the city and established several new facilities for war orphans, the homeless and children whose parents had been killed in traffic accidents.

To date, about 3,000 children have received care at welfare homes operated by the Nakamuras, according to Masaharu Hojo, the head of one of the facilities.

The Japanese government awarded Yaeko Nakamura the Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1969 for her contributions to society.

A funeral service was scheduled for Jan. 5 at Osaka's Christian Institute of Social Welfare, a school she set up with her husband, who died in 1977.