The National Institutes for Cultural Heritage (NICH) comprises seven institutions, each with their own unique characteristics. These include four museums (Tokyo National Museum, Kyoto National Museum, Nara National Museum and Kyushu National Museum), two research institutes (Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties), and the International Research Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region.

This fiscal year marks the second year of our fifth medium-term development plan. Our national museums will continue to utilize their accumulated experience and knowledge to collect and conserve cultural artifacts in a systemically and historically balanced manner while utilizing the results of research to develop captivating exhibitions and educational programs. Our two research institutes and the International Research Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region will continue to conduct basic and systemic research aimed at uncovering new knowledge about our cultural heritage. The National Center for the Promotion of Cultural Properties (CPCP), a body established in the headquarters of the NICH, will facilitate encounters with cultural properties by developing content, promoting model projects, and undertaking loan promotion projects. Furthermore, the Cultural Heritage Disaster Risk Management Center will strive to protect and rescue a wide range of cultural properties from disaster by constructing systems for coordination and collaboration, developing technology, raising awareness and disseminating information.

During the term of this development plan, we will strive to conserve our fragile cultural properties in an appropriate manner while utilizing the latest technology and adopting a diverse range of methods to provide an environment where people can encounter and enjoy learning about Japan's history, traditions and culture. We will also contribute to cultural tourism in Japan by actively utilizing our cultural resources and conveying the appeal of this cultural heritage in a manner easy to comprehend for both Japanese and non-Japanese people alike. As we continue to face many restrictions due to COVID-19, we will also need to seek out and establish ways to adapt our projects to ‘new lifestyles.’

Our institutions face difficult circumstances and numerous challenges. With finances tight, we need to increase our own sources of income while tackling the issue of ageing facilities/equipment and striving to retain and develop staff, for example. We are tasked with preserving our cultural heritage while presenting opportunities for many people to appreciate and learn about this heritage. It is our responsibility to convey the deep connection between these activities and the vitality of modern Japanese culture.

From here on, we will continue pushing forward step by step while retaining a thoroughgoing awareness of the roles we need to fulfil. We look forward to receiving your continued support in these endeavors.