Japan urged not to extend scope of its heritage site

2021-07-29 08:37:06China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it hopes Japan will honor its commitment not to extend the scope of a heritage site beyond the land of a chain of islands off southwestern Japan.

The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization decided on Monday to list the four islands-Amami-Oshima, Tokunoshima, Iriomote and the northern part of Okinawa-as Japan's fifth World Natural Heritage site.

The string of islands was recommended for inclusion on the list for its diverse ecosystem of plant and animal species, which are unique to the region.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Japan has made repeated commitments, both oral and written, to the member states of the World Heritage Committee, UNESCO and the 44th session of the committee, that it will not extend the scope of the site.

China hopes Japan will take concrete action to safeguard the reputation of the list as well as the authority of the decisions of the committee, Zhao said at a daily news conference.

The 44th session of the World Heritage Committee opened on July 16 in Fuzhou, Fujian province, and is scheduled to run through Saturday. It is the second time China has hosted the event.

On Tuesday, the committee decided to add Sudanese-style mosques in the north of Cote d'Ivoire to the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is the first site from Africa that has been listed at the 44th session.

China had congratulated Cote d'Ivoire, Zhao said, adding that Beijing has actively advocated that member countries of the committee improve the representativeness, balance and credibility of the World Heritage List.

China also called on signatory countries to pay more attention to countries and regions underrepresented on the list, especially African nations and small island states, he said.

More support should be given to developing countries in heritage conservation and helping them strengthen capacity building to enable the World Heritage List to more comprehensively demonstrate the world's cultural and natural treasures, he added.


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