A “World Heritage” is a property that is registered on the “World Heritage List” which is created by the World Heritage Convention. There are three types of properties: structures and historic ruins are “Cultural Heritage Sites,” natural areas are “Natural Heritage Sites,” and properties that combine both elements of culture and nature are “Mixed Heritage Sites.”
The“World Heritage Convention” is officially known as “The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.” In order to leave a legacy for the entire human race, the purpose of the convention is to establish a system of international cooperation and support in order to protect and preserve cultural and natural heritage from damage or destruction. It was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972 and went into effect in 1975. As of January 2017, 193 countries (State Parties) have joined the Convention. Japan joined the Convention in 1992.
The Registration Process
Each country (State Party) submits a “tentative list” of candidates that they would like to register as World Heritage to the World Heritage Committee.
A Nomination File is submitted to the World Heritage Committee for candidates selected from the “tentative list” regarding their relevant heritage for the registration screening.
The International Advisory Bodies (The International Council on Monuments and Sites and the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN)) conduct preliminary evaluations including field surveys of the sites.
The World Heritage Committee evaluates the sites and decides which ones will be registered.
Japan’s Registered World Heritage and Sites on the Tentative List
(Monuments, buildings, historic ruins, etc.)
(Led by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
(Outstanding natural beauty, the habitats of endangered species, etc.)
(Led by the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries)
|Registered World Heritage Sites(22 Items)||
|Official Tentative List
Domestic Candidates Recommended to UNESCO (8 Items)
|Category I a (5 Items)||
|Category I b (8 Items)||
|Category II (17 Items)||