Archives of 9th century Japanese monk to be added to UNESCO World Memory list

Documents linked to a 9th century Japanese monk who traveled to China to study Buddhism will be added to the UNESCO Memory of the World list.

UNESCO's executive board decided in Paris on Wednesday to add 64 document collections to the list.

Japan had submitted for registration a collection of 9th century documents from Miidera Temple in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, and elsewhere.

The documents had been brought back to Japan from Tang dynasty China by the monk Enchin. They include an original of a route permit, resembling a modern-day passport, that was used in the Tang era.

Japan's education and culture ministry describes them as precious historical references.

The Enchin archives are the eighth Memory of the World listing from Japan.

The list also includes documents pertaining to the internment of Japanese soldiers in Siberia after World War Two.

Also on Wednesday, UNESCO decided to add Hakusan Tedorigawa Geopark in Ishikawa Prefecture, central Japan, to its Global Geoparks Network.