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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 19 - 25  > Culture budget shows no sign of increasing
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2020 February 19 - 25 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Culture budget shows no sign of increasing

February 25, 2020

'Morning breeze' column

A summary of the Cultural Affairs Agency’s projected budget request has been released in Diet discussions on the 2020 state budget draft. It was expected that the culture budget would significantly increase as some of the agency’s functions have been relocated to Kyoto in stages since April 2017 in preparation for a full-scale relocation of the agency from Tokyo to Kyoto by March 2022. In addition, the basic law on culture and arts which was enacted in 2017 calls for enhancing the agency’s capability.

Furthermore, the government said that it will organize various cultural events to coincide with the holding of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. However, the agency’s draft budget for FY2020 only increased by five million yen to 106.7 billion yen.

In association with the Tokyo Summer Games, the government allocated 9.8 billion yen from the International Tourist Tax revenue to programs to enhance Japan’s cultural assets to improve the tourism environment and attract more tourists, such as holding the Japan Cultural Expo.

It was 2001 when the Basic Act on the Promotion of Culture and Arts was enacted. Two years later, the Culture Agency’s budget reached 100 billion yen for the first time ever and it has remained at almost the same level for nearly two decades. During the same period, the defense budget increased by 300 billion yen. Does the government have any intention to protect and nurture Japan’s arts and cultural heritage?

Recently, a South Korean movie won the Best Picture award in the 92nd Academy Awards. This accomplishment brought South Korea’s culture promotion policy into the spotlight. The Japanese government’s neglect is called into question.

Past related article:
> Diet passes 1st petition for increase in culture budget [ October 23, 2012]
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