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Sacred Island Selected for UNESCO List: An Overview of World Heritage Sites in Japan

The Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region has been registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. It is the twenty-first Japanese location to be added to the prestigious list.
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2 Japanese Areas Designated as UNESCO Biosphere Reserves (News)

Tokyo, June 14 (Jiji Press)—UNESCO has decided to add to its list of biosphere reserves two areas in Japan, the Japanese arm of the UN body said Wednesday. Following the decision made at a meeting in Paris, the number of UNESCO biosphere reserves in the country came to nine. According to the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, one of the newly designated biosphere reserves is the 243,67…
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Okinoshima Alone Set to Make World Cultural Heritage List (News)

Tokyo, May 5 (Jiji Press)—A UNESCO advisory body has made a recommendation to put the island of Okinoshima, an ancient religious site in Japan, on the World Heritage list, the Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency said Friday. But the International Council on Monuments and Sites, or ICOMOS, rejected the Japanese government's request for inscription in the heritage list of other religious monuments i…
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Yōmeimon Gate Reopens to Public at Nikkō’s Tōshōgū Shrine (Japan in Photos)

The Yōmeimon gate at Tōshōgū Shrine in Nikkō, a UNESCO World Heritage site, reopened to the general public on March 10, 2017, after four years of extensive repairs. Some 500 sculptures were restored on the structure, one of the most prominent buildings of the sprawling shrine, which is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shōgun of the Edo period (1603–1868). (© Jiji)
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Japan to Recommend Southern Isles, Christian Sites as World Heritage (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 19 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government on Thursday decided to recommend that islands in the southern prefectures of Kagoshima and Okinawa be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list for natural assets. At a meeting of related ministries and agencies, the government also decided to recommend the addition of Christian sites in the southwestern prefectures of Nagasaki and Kumamoto to t…
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Float Festivals Inscribed on UNESCO Intangible Heritage List

On November 30, UNESCO selected 33 Japanese festivals for its list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity at an intergovernmental committee meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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Tokyo Art Museum Recognized in UNESCO List: An Overview of World Heritage Sites in Japan

The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo has been recognized by UNESCO as the country’s latest World Heritage site, gaining the designation as part of an international collection of architectural works by Le Corbusier. It is the twentieth place in Japan to be added to the prestigious list.
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“Washi” (Japanese Paper)

Washi, or handmade Japanese paper, is still produced in every part of Japan. In 2014, UNESCO inscribed three of the most important washi traditions in its list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
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Japanese Restaurants On the Rise Abroad

The number of Japanese restaurants outside Japan reached 89,000 in July 2015, up sharply from 55,000 two years earlier. Many of these restaurants serve dishes that depart considerably from what the Japanese would consider to be traditional taste, though, and some see a need for measures—spearheaded by the Agriculture Ministry so far—to boost the quality of these overseas eateries.
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Cultural Relations as a Double-Edged Sword: Terror in Paris and Trouble at UNESCOSakai Kazunari

The repeated terrorist attacks in Paris and the disputes within UNESCO between Japan and its neighbors highlight the danger that culture can become a source of international confrontation.
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