Japan silk World Heritage Site plan
Tags: Gunma Prefecture, Japan, Tomioka Silk Mill, UNESCO, World Heritage Site
Moves are afoot to make a historic silk mill in Japan the centre of a new World Heritage Site.
The oldest government-run silk mill in the country and related sites in Gunma Prefecture have been recommended by a special government committee for World Heritage site designation.
Japan’s modernisation was driven by the Tomioka Silk Mill, which also made a major contribution to the world’s silk industry, according to the World Cultural Heritage Special Committee of the Cultural Affairs Council.
A conference of relevant government agencies will formalise the recommendation and a provisional letter will be sent to UNESCO by the end of September, with the possibility if all goes to plan that the case will be considered by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in summer 2014.
British tourists who are currently finalising their Japan holiday plans – by booking their travel insurance and carrying out other important tasks such as arranging their airport transfers – may be excited by the latest developments at the important industrial site.
Tomioka was first included in UNESCO’s provisional list of candidates for World Heritage site accreditation in 2007 and the government’s formal proposal is set to be sent in by February 1 next year, after which point a panel of third-party experts review its merits together with UNESCO’S World Heritage Committee.
Among the places of interest within the Tomioka site is the Gunma Prefecture, said to be a model for modern silkworm-raising farmhouses, while the Tomioka Silk Mill itself was the first in Japan to be equipped with French reeling machines.
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