Located in Hatsudai, not far from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station, the New National Theatre, Tokyo, opened in 1997 as the principal national theatre for the contemporary performing arts, including the opera, ballet, contemporary dance, and play. As you gaze at the pond in front of the theatre, you are lured away from the real world and into a world of dreams—that is the concept behind the magnificent building in which the New National Theatre, Tokyo is housed. That building and the various performances that have been performed in our three theatres have been gaining attention internationally as well as in Japan. I would like to express my deep gratitude to the many people whose support has made this possible.
The goal of the New National Theatre, Tokyo, needless to say, is to continue presenting the highest standard of contemporary performing arts, share this with people in Japan and abroad, and to become a theatre that is even more widely known among the people of Japan. As we start this new year, it seems that Japan has been deluged with reports of disheartening news in the newspapers and on TV. Japan today is facing not only problems in the political realm but tremendous economic concerns as well. Nonetheless, I am certain that Japan possesses the latent strength needed to overcome these problems. Culture is one of those strengths.
The role of the New National Theatre, Tokyo is not simply to please the audience or those involved in the theatre; I believe it is to raise the level of Japanese culture through the support of artistic activities. Improving Japanese culture through the arts brings pride to the people of Japan and also enhances the country’s prestige. I would like to lead this theatre with the lofty aspiration of conveying to all countries of the world the fact that diverse cultures exist, and thereby contribute to the global culture as well.
Looking ahead, I hope to carry out various initiatives to ensure that the theatre is even more accessible to and loved by the people of Japan.
I hope that you will all have an opportunity to visit and enjoy the New National Theatre, Tokyo, and I look forward to welcoming you here.
January 1, 2009