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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 October 7 - 13  > 'Don't use tax for controversial artworks' logic is unconstitutional
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2020 October 7 - 13 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

'Don't use tax for controversial artworks' logic is unconstitutional

October 7, 2020

Akahata 'Morning Breeze' column

Led by right-wing neo-nationalist Takasu Katsuya, director of cosmetic surgery at Takasu Clinic, a signature drive has been taking place with a petition to recall Aichi Governor Omura Hideaki. Behind this move lies the right-wing opposition to the "After the 'Freedom of Expression?'" exhibits at the Aichi Triennale 2019.

The exhibition in question was forced to shut down just a few days after the opening of the Triennale in Aichi Prefecture last year due to political pressure and violent threats to damage or destroy artworks, including a statue of a Korean girl symbolizing wartime Japanese military comfort women and a work of art with a motif of wartime Emperor Hirohiro.

The August edition of the conservative magazine "Monthly Hanada Selection" carries an article which eagerly welcomes what Takasu said in an emergency press conference held by himself. Takasu in the press conference said, "Objects dishonoring the memory of the war dead who lost their lives to protect our country were exhibited as works of art with tax money."

The logic, "Don't use taxes for controversial art works," is blatant censorship which Article 21 of the Constitution prohibits. The counterargument made by Governor Omura who said, "The exhibition is tax funded. That's why I should follow Article 21," is reasonable. Maneuvers by neo-nationalists like Takasu who admire Nazis must never be permitted.

Past related articles:
> Cultural agency’s panel member resigns in protest against cancellation of subsidy to Aichi Triennale [October 4, 2019]
> Gov't discourages artistic expression by withdrawing subsidies [September 26 & 27, 2019]
> Majority of Aichi Triennale artists call for reopening of ‘shuttered’ exhibition [August 7, 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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