Japan resubmits World Heritage recommendation for Sado gold mines

Japan has submitted a revised recommendation letter for a group of gold and silver mines on Sado Island on the Sea of Japan to be registered as a World Cultural Heritage site.

The government filed the document on Thursday with UNESCO.

An initial recommendation was sent in February 2022. But UNESCO said the document was incomplete and did not start the registration process.

The government presented a tentative recommendation last September including revisions on the content pointed out by UNESCO and made adjustments with the UN agency.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites, or ICOMOS, which is an advisory body for UNESCO, will study the recommendation. UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is expected to make a decision in a meeting next year if all goes as scheduled.

Russia was the chair of the committee last year and a meeting of the group did not take place amid the country's invasion of Ukraine. The next chair has not been decided, and the timetable for the next meeting is not clear.

South Korea has opposed registering the Sado mines as a World Cultural Heritage site, saying people from the Korean Peninsula were forced to work there.

A spokesperson of the South Korean foreign ministry said it is regrettable that Japan resubmitted the recommendation.
The spokesperson said South Korea will continue to work with UNESCO and the international community to make known the history of forced labor.