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Tokyo National Museum says it takes responsibility over name row

2014/06/20 22:41:51

Yuji Kurihara, director of administration at the Tokyo National Museum

Taipei, June 20 (CNA) The Tokyo National Museum said Friday it takes full responsibility after it was forced to cancel a press conference to promote an unprecedented exhibition of the National Palace Museum's (NPM) collection in Tokyo due to promotional posters omitting the word "national."

Yuji Kurihara, director of administration at the Tokyo museum, where the exhibition is to be held, said the museum has used the full name of the National Palace Museum, but it has no control over the posters made by Japanese media, as freedom of the press is involved and it leaves that to their discretion.

Kurihara said the media has omitted the word "national" in line with common practice in Japan, noting that the Tokyo museum could only hope that they use the official name.

The posters in question, which have been spotted at train stations and parks in Tokyo, were prepared by a group of media sponsors of the exhibition, such as NHK, the Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun.

Kurihara expressed wishes for the exhibition to take place as planned, saying a lot of effort has gone into making it happen, including Japan passing a law that ensured the collection would not be seized by mainland China.

Japan has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and recognizes China instead of the Republic of China (Taiwan). That's why its media do not use the word "national" in referring to Taiwan.

Kurihara said the musuem is dealing with the matter over the past two days, adding that "we really want to hold the exhibition."

Ruling Kuomintang Legislator Lee Hung-chun, head of Taiwan-Japan parliamentary friendship group, expressed the hope that Japan can make a correction as soon as possible as Taiwan's national dignity is involved.

Lee said that an exhibition should be consistent, noting that the invitation card sent by the Tokyo National Museum shows "national," but the posters on Tokyo streets omit the word.

Moreover, Taiwan's first lady Chow Mei-ching is set to attend the opening ceremony at the Tokyo National Museum on June 23, and Japan should show basic respect toward her, Lee said.

The selected artifacts from the NPM were set to be put on display under the title "Treasured Masterpieces from the National Palace Museum, Taipei" at the Tokyo museum from June 24 to Sept. 15, and at the Kyushu National Museum from Oct. 7 to Nov. 30.

(By Yang Ming-chu, Wang Chao-yi and Lilian Wu)

●June 23: NPM collection exhibition opens in style despite poster glitch

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Related stories:
●June 20: Tokyo press event on NPM collection canceled in wake of name row
●June 20: Taiwan threatens to cancel Japan exhibition over naming row (update)