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September 20, 2017

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Tokyo National Museum takes blame in name row

TAIPEI--The Tokyo National Museum said yesterday 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, 國立故宮博物院) 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.

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