Call for your cooperation in saving and recovering cultural properties damaged by the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake

As you are already aware, many precious lives and properties have been lost following the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake, the biggest Japan has ever known. I would like to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and those affected by the calamity.

More than four hundred cultural properties were heavily damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, if we count only the nationally-designated properties. The damaged area is vast, and this is the greatest challenge we have ever faced since the Law for the Protection of Cultural Property was enacted. Many National Treasures, Important Cultural Properties, Special Historic Sites and Special Places of Scenic Beauty have also been affected. Several properties will require a long time to recover, while some are totally lost.

Cultural property is a precious common heritage for Japan and for human beings. To transmit these treasures to future generations is the responsibility of those of us who live today. For this purpose, we must start by ensuring the safety of damaged cultural properties and art objects, to prevent robbery, destruction or loss in the debris of damaged structures.

The Agency for Cultural Affairs has organized a "Cultural Property Rescue Programme" for movable cultural properties, in cooperation with related associations, centres of expertise and boards of education in the affected area. We would like to urgently shelter any damaged properties.

After this, we will then move to the recovery and rehabilitation of immovable properties like historic buildings, with the help of experts in related disciplines. Cultural properties are a symbol of spiritual ties within the community. We hope that their early recovery will bring a smile to those in the affected area as quickly as possible.

The Agency for Cultural Affairs wishes to make the utmost effort to secure a necessary budget for the above-mentioned task. But our budget is not enough to totally cover the transportation of experts, materials, and storage of saved properties etc. Therefore, wide support is indispensable for the early success of the Rescue Programme.

In order to facilitate the flow of donations from around the world, the Foundation for Cultural Heritage and Art Research has opened a special bank account for donations to support the Rescue Programme mentioned above. Please use the account to show your understanding and concern for Japan's cultural properties by supporting the Programme.

I wish to take this opportunity to announce that "The Law of National Indemnity for Fine Arts Exhibitions" was enacted in Japan on 29th March 2011 and will be implemented by June. The law aims to facilitate exhibitions of fine arts from abroad by compensating damages of art objects in exhibitions by the Government. I hope we will have more opportunities to appreciate precious arts from your country thanks to this new law.

Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Japan Seiichi Kondo

For the donation, please go to the Web site of the Foundation for Cultural Heritage and Art Research or use the following bank account.

Bank Account Information for the Donatione

  • Bank Name : Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • BIC Code (SWIFT Code) : SMBCJPJT
  • Branch Name : Ueno Branch
  • Account Number : 6615496
  • Account Type : Futsu (Savings / Ordinary account)
  • Account Name : Foundation for Cultural Heritage and Art Research
  • Post Code : 110-0007
  • City Name : Tokyo
  • Note : Please kindly inform us of your donation to 03-5685-2311 or before the transfer of money so that we can follow your donation.