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 Fiscal year 2016 is the first year of the Fourth Medium-term Plan(fiscal years 2016 – 2020) of the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage. The aim of the this plan is to continue comprehensive activities, from fundamental to leading and practical ones, associ-ated with cultural properties, both tangible and intangible, in order for the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties to respond to expectations from Japan and abroad as the base for the study of cultural properties.
 To that end, the Institute has expanded and reorganized the functions of the various departments and renamed them accord-ingly where appropriate. In addition to research, the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems will engage in the investigation and dissemination of information related to cultural properties. The Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques has been renamed Center for Conservation Science. It will promote integral endeavors for conservation within the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage in addition to conducting scientific investigations related to the conservation of cultural properties. The Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, from this year, will conduct investigations about the techniques for manufacturing tools and materials necessary for the conservation of cultural properties in addition to the investigation of intangible folk cultural properties such as folk techniques, which are the manufacturing techniques of a given district. Of course, it will continue its conventional studies on intangible cultural properties such as traditional music, performing arts and craft techniques as well as on folk performing arts, customs and manners. The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation will concen-trate on international contribution from the point of view of culture by conducting joint research and training projects related to the protection of cultural properties in response to requests for capac-ity development for experts in cultural properties and transfer of conservation techniques from countries in Asia and other regions of the world.
 Five years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake. The Institute in collaboration with other organizations has been engaged in relief projects for cultural properties damaged by tsunami and destruction of buildings. From the point of view of research, it has studied measures to preserve cultural properties such as paper materials damaged by water and those contami-nated by radiation. It will now begin to summarize the techniques and knowledge concerning the relief of disaster-stricken cultural properties that it has acquired so far and conduct research on ways to preserve cultural properties, taking into consideration measures for preventing and reducing damage.
 In order to conduct activities related to the protection of cultural heritage internationally, it is essential to enhance and develop a system of cooperation with domestic organizations and experts in related fields. In this view, the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Conservation, whose Secretariat has been established at the Institute on commission from the Agency for Cultural Affairs, is of great significance. Much is expected of its activities, and the Institute hopes to be actively engaged in its management.
 We will endeavor to make this Institute a research organization for comprehensive study associated with the protection of cultural properties, managing it efficiently and effectively. We ask for your understanding, support and cooperation.

 KAMEI Nobuo
Director General
Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties

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