Southwestern Japan Isles Registered as World Heritage Site

Politics Culture Society

Tokyo, July 26 (Jiji Press)--UNESCO on Monday decided to register Amami Oshima and other islands in southwestern Japan as a World Natural Heritage site, the fifth natural asset to be added to the World Heritage list from the country.

The decision came at an online meeting of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee.

The islands--Amami Oshima and Tokunoshima in Kagoshima Prefecture and the northern part of Okinawa Prefecture's main island and Iriomote Island, also in Okinawa--were highly evaluated for their rich biodiversity with a variety of endemic species.

The area, which totals 42,698 hectares and is part of the Ryukyu island chain lying between Japan's Kyushu region and Taiwan, is inhabited by many rare species including the Amami rabbit and the Okinawa rail.

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