Independent Administrative Institution (IAI) National Museum ("National Museum") was the official name of the corporate entity created by the Japanese government in 2001 by merging three formerly independent national museums—the Tokyo National Museum, the Kyoto National Museum, and the Nara National Museum. The assimilated organizational structure was brought about as a part of the national government's administrative reform program; and the clear goal was to provide higher quality and better educational services to the public. In 2005, a fourth institution was added—the Kyushu National Museum. These reforms are designed to bring keiretsu-like synergy and enhanced administrative efficiencies in the work of achieving the range of inter-related preservation, conservation, and education goals of each unique institution.
In 2007, the perceived successes of the IAI National Museum experiment led to a further consolidation. The Independent Administrative Institution National Institutes for Cultural Heritage was established by merging two Independent Administrative Institutions—the National Museum, which comprised the Tokyo National Museum, the Kyoto National Museum, the Nara National Museum and the Kyushu National Museum—and the Independent Administrative Institution National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, which consisted of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo and the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Nara. The rationale for merging these entities flow from a recognition that all share the same purpose of conservation and utilization of cultural properties.
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