Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Anthropologist to head culture agency
The government named veteran anthropologist Tamotsu Aoki on Tuesday as head of the Agency for Cultural Affairs as part of efforts to reform the agency, under fire for bureaucratic blunders such as sloppy preservation work at the ancient Takamatsuzuka tomb.
Aoki, 68, visiting professor at Waseda University's Organization for Asian Studies, will replace Shinji Kondo, a senior bureaucrat of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry. The appointment, endorsed Tuesday by the Cabinet, will take effect Sunday, government officials said.
Aoki will be the fourth commissioner of the agency from outside the public sector, following psychoanalyst Hayao Kawai, Kondo's predecessor, who resigned in January for health reasons.
The ministry selected Aoki following public calls to reform the agency.
The agency has been under fire in connection with the revelation that murals in the Takamatsuzuka tomb in Asuka, Nara Prefecture, were damaged during preservation work in 2002 and secretly repaired.