World heritage candidate for 2017 to be known by July

From Japan Times

A government panel said Monday it will pick a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site candidate to promote for 2017 by the end of July.

The panel has four candidates, including Jomon archaeological sites in Hokkaido, northern Tohoku and other regions, and the Sado complex of heritage mines, which are primarily gold mines.

六本柱建物 (Sannai-Maruyama Site)
六本柱建物 (Sannai-Maruyama Site) / cyber0515

Mozu-Furuichi Kofungun, ancient tumulus clusters, and Okinoshima Island and related sites in the Munakata region are also among the candidates.

The relevant Agency for Cultural Affairs’ council will conduct hearings with local municipalities to assess the significance of their sites and examine their capabilities for conservation before making a final decision.

The government will submit a recommendation letter to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization by Feb. 1 after obtaining Cabinet approval.

The Jomon sites in Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate and Akita are a group of archaeological sites representing a culture that occupied the Japanese archipelago for nearly 10,000 years, while the Sado complex in Niigata is known for gold and silver mining techniques introduced from home and abroad over a period of more than 400 years, according to the UNESCO website.

The Mozu-Furuichi Kofungun in Osaka are tumulus clusters built between the late fourth and early sixth centuries that include the largest one in Japan. The Okinoshima Island sites in Fukuoka are made up of the isolated island of Okinoshima, which floats in a rich natural environment and is one of East Asia’s greatest ritual sites.

The government wants to win World Heritage designation for old industrial facilities in Fukuoka and seven other prefectures in 2015, and for Christian locations in Nagasaki and Kumamoto for the following year.