Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In the Play's Defense

And on the fourth day, they found something they liked.

Since November 11, the three working groups of the ominously named Government Revitalization Unit have been doling out brutal summary judgments on government-supported programs.

Review program.
Freeze planned increase.

Yesterday, for the first time, one of the working groups came to a heretofore unheard of conclusion regarding the program it was examining:

Approved, as budgeted.

The winner of this first reprieve from the budgetary scythe?

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labour's financial support of theater productions in the nation's child recreation centers (jidōkan).

The decision stunned Iki Noriko, the ministry official summoned to defend the program before the Unit. She stumbled away from the working group meeting area, her head bowed down toward the floor. As the camera crews and clots of journalists swarmed about her, she tried to apologize for her singular success:

"This is not what we expected..."

Image: Child kabuki production. Karasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture. July 25, 2009. Photo credit: MTC.

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