Taiwan and Japan Fought over Museum Poster

Christine Chow Ma.


The first lady of Taiwan, Chow Mei-ching, will travel to Japan to view the current exhibition of art and artifacts from the Taipei National Palace Museum currently on view at the Tokyo National Museum, Art Daily reports.

The visit was initially scheduled to take place last month to coincide with the opening of the exhibition. However, according to the report, a fight broke out between the countries’ diplomats over the posters being used to promote the exhibition.

The posters used to promote and tickets for the exhibition failed to include the word “national” in the museum’s name. For decades, Taiwan has struggled for its status as an independent nation, one that has only been recognized by 22 countries since it split from China in 1949.

Thus, the Taiwanese government appears to have taken the omission as an affront to their sovereignty, despite Japan not being among the countries who maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Taiwan was also a Japanese colony from 1895 to 1945.

The offending posters were amended before the exhibition opened. And, the director of the Taipei National Palace Museum, Feng Ming-chu has subsequently confirmed that the first lady would accept an invitation to visit the exhibition.

Japan is the first Asian country to receive the 231 objects on loan, most of which are from Beijing’s Forbidden City and were brought to Taiwan by Chiang Kai-shek in 1949. Germany, France, the United States, and Austria have all previously hosted artifacts from the museum.

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