News on IICLO

An update on the International Institute for Children’s Literature in Osaka, which is under threat of closure. The situation has deteriorated in the last few weeks — see the following letter from Matsui Tadashi, the IICLO President. I intend to send the Governor of Osaka prefecture another letter on behalf of IRSCL, and our Japanese colleagues continue to fight with great determination for the survival of the organisation and the collection.

Dear Supporter of IICLO,

Thank you very much for your continued warm support for the IICLO. We would like to report on the present situation of IICLO.

A prefectural assembly was held from the 24th of February to the 23rd of March. The Osaka prefectural government proposed and debated both an ordinance of closure of the IICLO and a budget for transferring materials of IICLO to the Osaka Central Library. As a result, both proposals were passed despite of our wish to leave the IICLO as it was.

Although a petition for the continued existence of the IICLO had been passed at the Osaka prefectural assembly in September, 2008 with a lot of warm support from all over the world, the prefectural government did not deviate from their position that the foundation should be reviewed completely and the Institute is going to close within the 2009 academic year (up to March, 2010) and the materials of IICLO are going to be transferred to the Osaka central library.

Foundations connected to the IICLO, the donors and people concerned with the IICLO had their first meeting with the governor, Mr. Hashimoto in order to exchange opinions about the future of the IICLO on the 21st of January, 2009 and have continued to have meetings with the board of Education. At the same time, on the 25th of February the donors demanded that Osaka prefectural government return the materials they had donated and filed a lawsuit to this end at a local courthouse in Osaka on the 16th of March. It is to our great regret that the prefectural government has pushed through the proposal to close the IICLO and that the proposal was passed.

The date of the closure of IICLO will be decided by the education board, but it seems that it will be at the end of 2009 or at the end of 2009 academic year (31st of March, 2010). Thus. the foundation is facing a severe threat in the near future.

We had a directors’ meeting on the 26th of March and discussed the future of IICLO. We have decided to make a special committee for its future management, the head of which will be the president of IICLO.
Although the situation the IICLO faces is really tough, we will do our best to find the best solution both for the materials and for the foundation through discussions with organizations concerned with IICLO and we humbly ask that you continue to give us your support.

Sincerely yours,
MATSUI, Tadashi
President, IICLO