Japan touts Sado gold mines for World Heritage status

The governor of Niigata Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan coast, has made a pitch for a group of gold and silver mines on Sado Island to be registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

Hanazumi Hideyo addressed a gathering of about 80 people, including envoys to UNESCO from 20 countries, at the Japan Cultural Institute in Paris on Tuesday.

Demonstrating visual images of the mines, Hanazumi said the site is of outstanding universal value.

He said the area gave rise to a highly advanced style of handicraft manufacturing that produced some of the world's finest gold.

Sado City Mayor Watanabe Ryugo and Japan's Ambassador to UNESCO Kano Takehiro also backed the pitch.

The Japanese government submitted an initial recommendation for the mines in February 2022. It revised the recommendation last year after the UN cultural agency said the first document was incomplete.

A decision is expected at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting scheduled to take place in India in July.