Tokyo, June 29 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Cultural Affairs Agency said Monday it will refrain from recommending a site for UNESCO World Heritage designation in fiscal 2020.
The Cultural Affairs Council will not have enough time to determine a candidate site due to the coronavirus pandemic, agency officials said.
Usually, the council starts the candidate selection process in April and made a decision at the end of July. The Japanese government files its recommendation with UNESCO by the end of February the following year.
But the domestic procedures for the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2021, could not get started because a World Heritage Committee meeting, initially set to begin in China in late June, was put off.
The council was to pick one out of three candidates recommenced by local governments: the complex of heritage gold and other mines on the island of Sado in the central Japan prefecture of Niigata, Hikone Castle in the western prefecture of Shiga, and archaeological sites of ancient Asuka and Fujiwara capitals in the western prefecture of Nara.
Meanwhile, the UNESCO committee was supposed to examine, among others, a group of southern Japan islands comprising Kagoshima Prefecture’s Amami-Oshma and Tokunoshima and Okinawa Prefecture’s northern Okinawa Honto and Iriomote.