Mt. Fuji Heritage Site field survey begins

Source:The Daily Yomiuri Author: The Yomiuri Shimbun   Date:2012-09-03

KOFU--The International Council on Monuments and Sites, an advisory body for UNESCO, has started a field survey on Mt. Fuji, which the central and Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectural governments seek to have designated as a World Heritage Site.

The inspection will greatly influence a report that ICOMOS will submit to UNESCO's World Heritage Committee and is thus an important step to achieve registration.

The study is being conducted by Lynne DiStefano, a member of the Canadian National Committee of ICOMOS. She is an expert in architecture and a professor at the University of Hong Kong. DiStefano is scheduled to inspect all 25 assets included in the Mt. Fuji nomination until Wednesday.

Last Wednesday, DiStefano visited three locations, including Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine in Fuji-Yoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture. She confirmed the preservation and administration conditions on site, while listening to explanations from officials of the prefectural government and the Cultural Affairs Agency.

On the second and third days, DiStefano ascended the summit of Mt. Fuji and stayed overnight.

A recommendation letter the central government submitted to UNESCO describes Mt. Fuji as a beautiful mountain that has been a source of inspiration for unique religious and artistic culture.

ICOMOS plans to submit the advisory report based on the field study to UNESCO in May 2013. The World Heritage Committee will decide whether to register Mt. Fuji as a World Heritage Site at its meeting to be held in Phnom Penh in June 2013.