NPM Japan exhibit to begin on schedule
By Joseph Yeh ,The China Post
June 24, 2014, 12:09 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- An exhibition featuring artifacts on loan from Taiwan's National Palace Museum (NPM) will open to the public today in Japan as planned as the Tokyo National Museum yesterday apologized over a naming row whereby Taiwan's sovereignty was not properly recognized.
At a press conference in Tokyo to make public the artifacts that will go on display at the exhibition, Masami Zeniya, executive director of Tokyo National Museum, apologized to the Taiwanese people over the row.
“Our museum has done our best in correcting the mistakes. I would like to express our apology to Taiwan over the incident,” he noted.
He also expressed sincere welcome to the exhibition entitled “Treasured Masterpieces from the NPM,” saying that the rare display of these national treasures is a major event worth celebrating.
Speaking during the same press conference, NPM head Feng Ming-chu (馮明珠) accepted the apology on behalf of Taiwan. She noted that the apology is expected to help to restore Taiwanese people's trust and fondness for Japan.
The exhibition is scheduled to be held starting today through Sept. 15, after which it will move to the Kyushu National Museum in Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture, where it will run from Oct. 7 until Nov. 30.
The NPM has selected 231 pieces of its collection for the exhibition in Tokyo, including the “Jadeite Cabbage,” one of the NPM's most famous artifacts.
However, a naming row forced Taiwan to issue a threat to cancel the unprecedented exhibition last week because some adverting materials, including posters, billboards and museum tickets, were found listing the NPM's name in Japanese as the “Palace Museum, Taipei” instead of the NPM's official name.
The move was an apparent violation of an agreement between Taiwan and Japan that the museum's full name must be used in all publicity materials and is seen by Taiwan as a move that downgraded the nation's sovereignty status.
According to the Tokyo museum, the advertising materials in question were prepared by a group of media sponsors from major media outlets.
In response, Taiwan issued an ultimatum to the Japanese museum last Friday, calling the latter to amend the error or face the cancellation of the event.
First lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青), who was originally scheduled to visit Japan to attend the exhibitions, also announced plans to postpone her trip because of the naming row.
A press event to unveil the artifacts in Tokyo was cancelled at the last minute on Friday as well.
Under strong pressure from Taiwan, the Tokyo museum has managed to remove and replace the advertising materials in question that were spotted at train stations and parks in Tokyo over the past three days.
The Tokyo museum had also disposed of all unsold problematic tickets that refer to the Taiwan museum without using the word “national” and will recall those tickets that have been sold to replace them with corrected ones, according to the NPM.
Sensing the Tokyo museum's sincerity in correcting the mistakes, Feng announced yesterday morning that the exhibition will be staged as planned before she led a delegation to fly to Tokyo to attend the press conference.
Related story on page 15