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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 2 - 8  > Cultural agency’s panel member resigns in protest against cancellation of subsidy to Aichi Triennale
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2019 October 2 - 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Cultural agency’s panel member resigns in protest against cancellation of subsidy to Aichi Triennale

October 4, 2019

Akahata learned on October 2 that a member of the Cultural Affairs Agency panel which approved a subsidy to the Aichi Triennale, Noda Kunihiro, resigned in protest against the agency’s decision not to pay the subsidy.

The Education Ministry’s external organ in April decided to award a 78-million-yen grant to the now-partially shuttered art festival in Aichi in accordance with the approval of the review board of outside experts, including Noda who is also a Tottori University specially appointed professor.

Noda pointed out that the culture agency did not consult the panel before it made its decision to cancel the subsidy award, and said that he was informed of the cancellation three days after the agency’s announcement on September 26.

The professor criticized the agency for arbitrarily retracting the expert committee’s approval, adding, “Such an act is totally devoid of common sense.”

The Agency for Cultural Affairs, as the reason for its decision, argued that although the Aichi prefectural government recognized potential troubles arising at the international art event, such as forced closure of the exhibition, it failed to provide any information on this matter, which prevented the agency from making a proper decision.

Noda pointed out that it is unreasonable for the government agency to withhold payment of its subsidy on the grounds that part of the Triennale, which displays art works eliciting controversy over freedom of speech, was forced to close. He expressed his concern that the culture agency’s withdrawal decision was possibly made due to pressure exerted by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Education Minister.

Noda noted that after the Basic Act on the Promotion of Culture and the Arts was revised in 2017, the new law, the Basic Act on Culture and the Arts, incorporated the term, “freedom of expression” stipulated in Article 21 of the Constitution. He said, “The recent agency’s action goes totally against the principle of the basic act. This is very serious.”

Past related articles:
> Gov't discourages artistic expression by withdrawing subsidies [September 26 & 27, 2019]
> Political pressure on exhibit of ‘statue of Korean girl’ in Aichi Triennale violates Constitution banning censorship: Koike [August 4&5, 2019]
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