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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 19 - 25  > Use of insults represents Abe gov’t’s anti- people stance
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2017 April 19 - 25 [POLITICS]
column 

Use of insults represents Abe gov’t’s anti- people stance

April 19, 2017
Akahata ‘current’ column

Curators of the Himeyuri Peace Museum in Okinawa will participate in the International Conference of Museums for Peace, a local newspaper reported. They said that they want to inform participants from other countries about their museum’s activities and learn more about peace education abroad, according to the news report.

As the number of people who experienced WWII continues to decrease, the peace museum curators are looking for a good way to pass down wartime memory to future generations so that younger people can understand how precious peace is. The museum staff members are trying to gain insights from the international conference. It is very meaningful to hand down memories of human history including memories of wars. Curators play a vital role in this activity.

These specialist workers collect, preserve, and study objects as well as display them to the public at museums. A state certification is required to become a curator and nearly 8,000 such professionals are working across the country. Recently, these guardians of history were the target of abusive remarks made by Yamamoto Kozo, Minister in charge of Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalizing Local Economy in Japan.

Yamamoto said, “Curators are the biggest cancer. They should be eliminated,” and criticized the experts for “lacking awareness of tourism promotion” in regard to how to use cultural assets as a magnet to attract visitors. Yamamoto’s remarks indicate that he does not understand the curator’s responsibility of archiving and utilizing important materials. In addition, he appears to have no consideration for the feelings of cancer patients.

Prior to Yamamoto, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s Cabinet ministers made abusive remarks one after another. One minister insulted Okinawans opposing the U.S. base construction and another attacked victims of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdowns and the massive earthquake. The display of such remarks reveals that these ministers have deep-rooted discrimination against and hostility and contempt to those who have opinions that differ from theirs.
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