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UNESCO: Japanese facilities not suitable to world cultural heritage purpose

UNESCO: Japanese facilities not suitable to world cultural heritage purpose

Posted May. 25, 2015 07:07,   


Regarding the registration of Japanese modern industrial facilities, including the facility where Koreans were forcibly mobilized to, on UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, it was found that the UNESCO`s ICOMOS not just recommended Japan to contain negative history but also told it to sufficiently complement content since it doesn`t suit fundamental purpose as cultural heritage.

This was known at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee homepage through a report on screening evaluation of registration on world culture heritage (353 pages) released by ICOMOS. The content in question was on pages 88-102 written about Japanese facilities. On page 94, it was written, "The documents Japan submitted reflect just technological process of the country`s introduction of from western countries some industrial facilities including heavy industry, shipbuilding and coal mine facilities, and fail to describe the complex and broad social and political changes that industrial technology has brought about. Materials should be sufficiently used for complementation."

UNESCO defines cultural revolution heritage as facilities that affect to break down old feudal social, education and medical systems, which not only lead to social and political changes but also allow opening of university, and make possible telecommunication networks, railroads and sea transport. Based on this definition, the report said facilities Japan submitted don`t contain the full scope of the Industrial Revolution.

At the end of the report, it directed Japan by telling it to contain negative history such as forced Korean draft, demanding the country to describe in a way that the whole historic picture can be understood. Moreover, it put a fundamental interrogation point to whether such facilities can be viewed as world cultural heritage.

Regarding the issue, the Asahi Shimbun reported Saturday, citing quotes of Japan`s government officials, that the final deliberation can be made at the end of June in Germany at the UNESCO general meeting. The media quoted an executive at Cultural Affairs Agency who asked to remain anonymous who said, "The Japanese government firmly believes that registration will be approved but also is worried over a possible deliberation postponement."

The media added, "In 2008 when Israel applied for cultural heritage the triple arch door at the border of Lebanon and Syria, Arab countries strongly raised border issue as problem. Ultimately, the UNESCO general meeting in 2011 decided on deliberation postponement which meant a virtual dismantlement."

Meanwhile, the Korean government will launch a diplomatic standing from the part of the National Assembly. Main Saenuri Party member Na Kyeong-won who is head of Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee said Sunday, "We will form a team composed of main and opposition party members from the committee to visit six major UNESCO member countries to deliver the Korean government`s stance and persuade them."