046 Letter from the lawyers

I received a sealed document from JAGDA’s legal advisers on February 2, 2017.

Inside, I found a letter entitled “Views of the JAGDA Office in relation to ‘More questions and proposal re: “Reply from JAGDA regarding Request Letter”’”. The letter was signed by two legal counsels representing JAGDA, with their official seals affixed.

The letter stated:
Regarding the questions posed at this time, a detailed reply has already been provided. Thus we find it unnecessary to add any further response.
(*JAGDA response shown in blue)

Furthermore, the letter stated:
Moreover, all JAGDA members have been informed (via email sent by the JAGDA representative on August 12, 2016, with the title “Regarding ‘JAGDA’ emblem Overview”) that the “JAGDA Overview” document has yet to be approved by the General Assembly. Therefore we find it unnecessary to implement a response anew based on your proposal submitted at this time.

In response to my request that JAGDA offer an opportunity for dialogue in a public setting by providing a venue for sharing an audio or video recording of the general assembly, JAGDA claimed, “We find it unnecessary to implement a response anew”. In other words, JAGDA maintains that it has no intention of hosting a dialogue session; it will not release any recording of the general assembly; and JAGDA is informing me that they find it “unnecessary”.

According to the letter, JAGDA’s explanation for not responding to the request made by a JAGDA member is because the“‘JAGDA Overview’ document has yet to be approved by the General Assembly”. But in reality, the “JAGDA Overview” document was submitted as a matter for approval at the general assembly, and was subsequently approved. There is no denying a fact that actually took place. If JAGDA wants to claim that the document was never an approval item—why bother submitting the document as an item on the agenda in the first place? Why did JAGDA seek and obtain approval at the general assembly? I have been pointing out this glaring inconsistency on numerous occasions, again and again, but JAGDA has never bothered to give any explanation whatsoever. And now, it has decided to inform me that “we find it unnecessary to add any further response”— their final answer.

Once again, I went back to the records of the JAGDA general assembly to check the statements made by the speakers:


Chairperson: Well, thank you very much. Now we will get on with the proceedings. We shall begin with the first item on the agenda—which includes what we heard just now—and after reports from various committees, we will seek approval for all items, including this, at one go. So let us proceed without further ado.
(From Records of JAGDA General Assembly 2016)


Here, when the chairperson says, “which includes what we heard just now”, he means the “JAGDA Overview” document that “we heard just now”. He points to the “JAGDA Overview” document as the first item on the agenda, and he clearly announces that (JAGDA) will seek “approval for all items, including this, at one go”. Subsequently a vote was taken, approval was given, and the general assembly came to a close—according to the records.

Once I reported this evidence, how approval was sought in such a dishonest and fraudulent manner, in my blog, and the facts were made public, JAGDA asked its members to submit their opinions in regards to the “JAGDA Overview”. Yet JAGDA never bothered to answer the questions submitted per these written opinions; they were not taken up during their board meetings nor steering committee meetings. Finally JAGDA resorted to get a representative, their legal counsels, to pen a letter using such insolent words as “we find it unnecessary to add any response”, to sign it and affix their official seals. The action is a demonstration of their true colors.

Coincidentally, just six days after the letter from the JAGDA lawyers was delivered to me, I received the “JAGDA News” by email. The newsletter was filled with various announcements and reports on the organization’s activities: there were announcements of winners of the Yusaku Kamekura Design Award, the JAGDA Award, the JAGDA New Designer Award; there was news related to the JAGDA Student Grand Prix and other exhibitions and events. On the surface, JAGDA is buzzing with lively activities. It is hard to believe that behind the scenes, the same organization is lawyering up to suppress a member who dared voice her opinion. It is insidious.

Keiko Hirano

Keiko Hirano:
Designer/Visioner, Executive Director of Communication Design Laboratory
Hirano served on the panel that chose the official emblem for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which was ultimately withdrawn.

Personal note:
I contributed an op-ed piece to the November issue of the “Kenchiku Journal” magazine (on sale November 1, 2016). The special feature of the issue is “Ridiculing the Olympic Games”.