Help preserve Aoyama Cemetery's foreign section.
The Foreign Section Trust celebrates the international community's role in Japan's history and helps preserve a record of individuals' activities and achievements.
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According to a February 19, 2005 Yomiuri Shimbun article, the Tokyo Government has served notice on scores of tombs in Aoyama Cemetery's foreign section: have their maintenance fees paid by October 2005 or face removal.
Concerned about what this means for a particular slice of Japan's history, we have formed a community action group, the Foreign Section Trust. Its first project is to preserve the foreign section of Aoyama Bochi. It also aims to preserve and acknowledge the history of the expatriate community's contribution to the development of Japan.
The YS goes on to report that last October, 78 graves in Aoyama Bochi, many belonging to prominent foreigners who lived and worked in Japan before and during the Meiji era, had notices placed on them saying that their fees had been unpaid for more than five years and to contact the government if there was an interest in taking on the responsibility for paying.
The annual maintenance fees amount to 590 yen per square meter.
Some who have seen the signs have asked the government to save the graves. The government's response? Starting in April, it is going to decide after determining the section's historical value.
Professor Yuzo Takahashi, specializing in the history of science and technology at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, said, "It's unthinkable that those who contributed to the modernization of the country are being forgotten. I'd like to see their graves preserved. In the case of foreign nationals, it can't be helped that fees aren't paid, but I hope the government will preserve as many graves as possible."
Watch this space for news on FST activities, like its first annual fund raising Hanami (cherry blossom viewing party) tentatively scheduled for Saturday April 2, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.Posted by Wilder at February 19, 2005 05:02 PM