TAIPEI - Taiwan yesterday issued an ultimatum to Japan after it found some of the promotional materials issued by a Tokyo museum for an upcoming exhibition, which features artifacts on loan from Taiwan's National Palace Museum (NPM), referred to the Taipei museum without using the word "national."
In a rare, strongly worded statement, the Presidential Office yesterday threatened to cancel the exhibition, originally scheduled to open in Tokyo next week, if Japan does not always call the museum by its official title and if all promotional materials that fail to use the word "national" in describing the NPM exhibition are not corrected by 11 p.m. Saturday (Taipei time).
President Ma Ying-jeou has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and NPM to express grave concerns to Tokyo over some Japanese co-organizers' decision not to call the NPM by its official name.
The office said that although the main organizer, Tokyo National Museum (TNM), has been honoring the promise to use the museum's official name, other co-organizers failed to do so on their posters and other promotion materials by leaving out "national."
"National Palace Museum is the only official title of the museum. The government and its people cannot accept having cultural exchanges at the expense of national dignity," it said.
"If we do not receive any positive response, the National Palace Museum will cancel all activities, including the exhibits in Japan, and the first lady will not attend the opening ceremony," it added.
In response to the Presidential Office's call, MOFA yesterday afternoon issued a statement that said it has already lodged a serious protest over the matter with its Japanese counterparts.