Tokyo, Sept. 30 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government has submitted a provisional recommendation form to UNESCO for the designation of the Sado gold mine site in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, as a World Cultural Heritage site.
If no problem is found, the government will resubmit it as a formal recommendation.
“We will bolster our cooperation with Niigata Prefecture, the city of Sado and relevant government agencies further to do our utmost to realize the UNESCO listing,” cultural affairs minister Keiko Nagaoka told a press conference Friday.
Although Japan submitted a formal recommendation in February, UNESCO pointed to problems with the form. As formal recommendations cannot be altered after being submitted to UNESCO, the government has to resubmit a formal form by Feb. 1, 2023.
If any problem is found with the provisional recommendation, the government will submit a corrected version by the deadline.
If the recommendation procedure goes ahead without a hitch, the gold mine site could be added to the UNESCO heritage list in 2024, informed sources said.
The site comprises gold and silver mines, including the Nishimikawa Placer Gold Mine, on the island of Sado.
Amid criticism by South Korea, which claims that people from the Korean Peninsula were forced to work at the site, Japan submitted the formal recommendation in February 2022.
The procedure to put the Sado site on the UNESCO list for 2023 stopped after the U.N. agency said that the recommendation lacked an explanation of gaps in waterways used to collect placer gold.
Nagaoka said that Japan cannot accept South Korea’s claims, indicating that Tokyo will make an in-depth explanation to the international community.
Japan sees significance in traditional manual production techniques used at the Sado mine site between the 16th and 19th centuries.