Japanese sites get World Heritage recommendation

Japanese sites get World Heritage recommendation

An advisory panel to the United Nations' cultural agency has recommended that places linked to the history of Japan's persecuted Christians be granted World Heritage status.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites gave the highest rating out of its 4-level recommendation scale to the nominated property "Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region."

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is expected to honor the property in a meeting to be held in Bahrain later this year.

The 12 components of the property are located in Japan's southwestern prefectures of Nagasaki and Kumamoto.

They include "Remains of Hara Castle," "Oura Cathedral," and villages where people secretly practiced Christianity despite a ban on the faith from the 17th to 19th centuries.

Japan now has 17 World Cultural Heritage properties and 4 World Natural Heritage properties.