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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 May 20 - 26  > Shii calls on gov't to change its stance on arts and culture
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2020 May 20 - 26 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Shii calls on gov't to change its stance on arts and culture

May 22, 2020
People in the theater, music, and film industries on May 21 jointly held an online symposium to discuss ways to protect the arts and culture from the ongoing stay-at-home requests by authorities without any offer of compensation.

Participants included actors, artists, musicians, playwriters, and film directors, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo, Head of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan Edano Yukio, and a Liberal Democratic Party member of the House of Representatives.

Those in the performing arts industry reaffirmed that the arts and culture are crucial social infrastructure, demanding that the government create "a post-coronavirus recovery fund for the arts and culture".

JCP Chair Shii expressed his support for the creation of a national fund by quoting Germany's Culture Minister as saying, "Culture is not only a luxury that one indulges in during good times." He said, "The Japanese government should change its conventional stance on the arts and culture."

Citing an estimate of 330 billion yen in damages caused by the cancellation of creative events, Shii said, "It was the government that requested cultural institutions to cancel their events and suspend their operations. Therefore, it should ensure meeting the special needs of creative people."

Shii pointed out that music, sports, arts, and culture have an invaluable role to play, always inspiring and giving encouragement to people, and sometimes giving "shelter" to them when they feel down.

He added, "The arts and culture are essential for the wellbeing of human beings and should be protected from the negative effects of the virus pandemic. If they disappear, their restoration would be extremely difficult. To support creative activities should be required of politicians."

Past related articles:
> 70% of actors out of work due to COVID-19 outbreak [April 28, 2020]
> Pro trombonist: I was very glad to see JCP lawmakers calling for compensation for us [ April 24, 2020]
> Abe reluctant to take measures to relieve performing artists’ economic distress due to corona crisis [March 24, 2020]
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