Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs' Head calls for 'cultural volunteerism'

21 February 2002, Japan

Hayao Kawai, the 74 year-old clinical psychologist who now heads the Japanese national government's Agency for Cultural Affairs, has announced a new newsletter to encourage the populace to engage in 'cultural volunteerism'. In the first edition of 'Bunka Borantia Tsushin' ('Cultural Volunteer News' - available on the internet in Japanese), published in February, Kawai reiterated the government's claim that the time has come for Japan to build a 'spiritual rather than material richness.' He continued that it is imperative for the public to work with the government to increase and expand cultural activities. They should take the initiative with culture, he said, by proposing events or just helping in their realisation. The newsletter, which will be published every one or two months, aims to highlight good examples of volunteer activities around Japan. The first edition looks at volunteer guides at museums and volunteer staff at local concert halls. This news story was sourced from Japanese Art Scene Monitor.