Ethics of Commercial Archaeology: Japan
At present, Japan, a country inhabited by 128 million people, has over 440,000 registered archaeological sites (Agency for Cultural Affairs 2001: 36). The growth of archaeological survey in Japan was underpinned by postwar economic development and a national imperative for salvage excavations. Since the economic slowdown in the mid-1990s, many critical questions about Archaeological Heritage Management (AHM) and public archaeology have emerged. The subsequent long-term economic slump and expanding neoliberalism in politics have further complicated the situation, and as a result Japanese archaeology today seems to be at a stalemate.
There are no terms in Japanese equivalent to “commercial archaeology” or “contract archaeology” as used in the UK, the USA, and other countries. Perhaps many Japanese archaeologists, who are accustom to a “socialist” model in contract archaeology (Kristiansen 2009: 643) and a notion of heritage as the preservation and use of buried...
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