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 243,672-hectare Sobo, Katamuki, and Okue area, which extends across six municipalities in Ōita and Miyazaki Prefectures and contains some of the highest mountains on the island of Kyūshū.
A variety of plants and animals, including Japanese serows and other rare species, are seen there. The area also features the cult of Mount Sobo, kagura< .em> Shintō music and dance, and other traditional folk arts, the commission said.
The other UNESCO pick, the 91,368-hectare Minakami area, covers the town of Minakami in Gunma Prefecture and three municipalities in Niigata Prefecture.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]