Japan to Recommend Amami-Ryūkyū Isles as World Heritage Sites (News)
Tokyo, Jan. 18 (Jiji Press)—Tokyo will recommend soon that islands in the Amami-Ryūkyū region in southwestern Japan be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide said Wednesday.
The government will make its official decision on the matter as early as this week, Suga told a press conference.
Set to be recommended as World Heritage sites are the northern part of the main island of Okinawa Prefecture and Iriomote Island, also in Okinawa, as well the islands of Amami Oshima and Tokunoshima in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan.
An urgent task in the region is the protection of endangered native species such as the Okinawa rail, known as "Yanbaru Kuina," and the Amami rabbit, or "Amami no Kuro Usagi," as well as the preservation of subtropical laurel forests.
On Wednesday, Suga met with the leaders of two villages in the northern area of the Okinawa main island--Kunigami Mayor Miyagi Hisakazu and Higashi Mayor Iju Seikyū. Suga told them that the government will make all-out efforts for the region to be inscribed on the list.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]