Ceremony Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Enactment of the Act on the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries

May 28, 2024

[Provisional translation]


On May 28, 2024, Prime Minister Kishida attended a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Act on the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries held in Tokyo.
In his address, Prime Minister Kishida stated:
“Hello, everyone. I am KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Act on the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries. I would like to reiterate my sincere respect to all those who have long contributed to the promotion of the traditional craft industries.
After the high economic growth period, the Japanese people enhanced their awareness of tradition that had been handed down through generations at regional levels, leading to the enactment of the Act against the backdrop of the trend to shed fresh light to traditional crafts. Since the enactment, the Government has defined the traditional craft industries as those crucial for the local economy and job creation, with all ministries and agencies working together for their promotion.
Last year, I visited the Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square in Tokyo and saw demonstrations offered by craftspeople engaged in EDO Sashimono (wood joinery), Yamanaka Shikki (lacquerware) and Tokyo Ginki (silversmithing). I was impressed by their sophisticated techniques and the beauty of their designs. I keenly felt that traditional craft arts enrich the lives of the people and offer pleasant environment.
In the meantime, the 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake caused grave damage to the local ateliers of traditional crafts such as Wajima lacquer. I would like to reiterate my sincere condolences to those who lost their lives and offer heartfelt sympathies to all those affected.
In such affected areas, craftspeople engaged in Wajima lacquer directly and passionately told me that they would never allow their tradition to end in their current generation, and hoped that it would be revived and handed down to future generations.
During my visit to the United States last month, President Biden and Dr. Biden were very pleased when I presented them with Wajima lacquer coffee cups and pens, as well as Takaoka Doki (copperware) accessories. The value of traditional craft arts is felt even more when they are actually in the hands of people who use them.
Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, will be an opportunity to comprehensively promote such traditional craft arts along with Japan’s culture that has fostered them, while also disseminating new values and charms that cater to modern life and overseas needs. I hope to work together with the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries and those belonging to the Traditional Craftsmen’s Association for the next fifty years.
To conclude, I would like to hope for the further development of the traditional craft industries, while also sincerely wishing the best and success to those present here today, as we mark the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Act on this memorable day.”


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