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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 May 20 - 26  > Theater, music, and cinema industries jointly call on gov't for more support
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2020 May 20 - 26 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Theater, music, and cinema industries jointly call on gov't for more support

May 23, 2020
Three groups in the theater, music, and film industries on May 22 jointly urged the government to implement measures to ensure the survival of the arts and culture industry during the coronavirus crisis, including establishing a special fund for the arts and culture industry recovery.

The three groups—the project for urgent support for theaters, the “#SaveOurSpace” campaign, and the “#SAVE the CINEMA” campaign—submitted a unified petition to the Cultural Affairs Agency and other relevant government bodies.

In the petitioning to the government agency and ministries, Kato Umezo, the owner of a company named “LOFT PROJECT” which provides live music venues, said that all of its ten live music clubs are now closed. He went on to say, “Many live music clubs I know of have been forced to shut down temporarily if not permanently. Our industry will be devastated if nothing is done.” Ogawa Mikio, who heads the Japan Association of Stage Managers, Production Managers, and Technical Directors, stressed, “The government’s unwillingness to provide financial aid to the performing arts sector may lead to a huge job loss and lead to a loss of culture and long-standing expertise associated with the performing arts.”

The petitioning was attended by more than 30 Dietmembers of both ruling and opposition parties, including Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira and JCP Vice Chair Ichida Tadayoshi.

Koike pointed out that in order to ensure the survival of Japan’s cultural sectors, the government should improve the existing support framework in order to provide the level of financial support needed for the culture sector to survive. He said, “It is necessary for both ruling and opposition parties to work together to save Japan’s arts and culture.”

At a press conference held after the petitioning, playwright Nishikawa Nobuhiro, who heads the Association of Japanese Theater Companies, said, “Now is a good opportunity to change the government’s stance toward culture”. He added that the three groups will keep making joint efforts to achieve this.

Actor Watanabe Eriko, who is also the president of the Japan Playwrights Association, said, “I built my acting career at small theater companies. I will do my best to protect the theater world.”

Past related articles:
> Motion picture workers demand government support for their economic distress caused by coronavirus outbreak [ April 28, 2020]
> 70% of actors out of work due to COVID-19 outbreak [ April 28, 2020]
> Abe reluctant to take measures to relieve performing artists’ economic distress due to corona crisis [ March 24, 2020]
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