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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 March 2 - 8  > Gov’t should drastically increase cultural budget to ensure people can enjoy art
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2016 March 2 - 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Gov’t should drastically increase cultural budget to ensure people can enjoy art

March 2, 2016
The Abe government proclaims that it made a national commitment to promote culture and art in its mid-term plan ending in 2020. However, the government in the new FY budget allocated more budget only to tourism-related areas, turning a blind eye to demands from the general public and cultural organizations.

The amount of the 2016 draft budget for the Cultural Affairs Agency stood at 103,965 million yen, slightly up by 0.2% or 172 million yen from the previous year. Items which were given more money are the development of infrastructure needed to attract more foreign visitors, such as the improvement of multilingual support and the repair work of cultural assets that are to become sightseeing attractions.

The total amount of planned expenditures for creative activities grew by 267 million yen to 20,187 million yen from a year earlier. Financial support for theatrical art organizations increased by 4% or 3,287 million yen, and the amount of subsidies awarded to orchestras and opera companies will be linked to their ticket sales revenues. The government turned down the Agency’s request for subsidies to cover the costs of these organizations’ secretariats.

The expenditure proposal for supporting up-and-coming artists was slashed by 72 million yen.

The planned spending on the preservation and utilization of cultural assets rose by 668 million yen to 45,146 million yen. The government proposed to allocate less on preservation and repair and more on making use of cultural assets as tourist attractions.

The amount of state subsidies to be given to local museums increased in the fields of foreign language utilization and public relations but decreased in public education.

Subsidies for operators of national museums and theaters went up by 1% to 25,900 million yen mainly due to the rise in measures for multilingual support.

The need now for the government is to drastically increase the cultural budget to promote artistic activities and enable the general public to fully enjoy art and culture activities and events.
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