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Report on the 35th World Heritage Committee Session Decision Results for: “Hiraizumi- Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land”

At the 35th UNESCO World Heritage Committee Session, It was decided that Japan’s nominated site: “Hiraizumi- Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land” should be inscribed on the World Heritage List.

June 26, 2011
Agency for Cultural Affairs
Press Release

 konjikido

At the 35th UNESCO World Heritage Committee Session held in Paris from June 19th to June 29th, Japan’s nominated site: “Hiraizumi- Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land” was discussed on the following date:

Local Date/Time: Saturday, June 25th 17:50
(Corresponding Japan Date/Time: Sunday, June 26th  0:50)

It was decided that Hiraizumi should be inscribed on the World Heritage List. Official inscription date will be the last day of the 35th WHC Session on Wednesday, June 29th.

 

Reference: The World Heritage Committee’s decision falls under one of the following 4 categories:

  1. Inscription: The property qualifies to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.
  2. Referral: After additional information is submitted by the State Party, the nomination dossier will be reexamined after the following Committee session.
  3. Deferral: The nomination file requires a more in-depth analysis, and substantial revisions to the document are required. After the nomination dossier is resubmitted, an extensive assessment of around 18 months must be made by the Advisory Body.
  4. Not to inscribe : A property is deemed unsuitable to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. Excluding exceptional circumstances, the nomination may not again be presented to the Committee.

 

1.  Chronology of Events:

  • April, 2001:  Hiraizumi is included in Japan's Tentative List of world heritage sites.
  • December, 2006: Japan submits a nomination file titled: “Hiraizumi - Cultural Landscape Associated with Pure Land Buddhist Cosmology”
  • August, 2007:  ICOMOS specialists arrive for an on-site evaluation.
  • May, 2008: ICOMOS notifies the deferral of Hiraizumi.
  • July, 2008: At the 32nd World Heritage Committee held in Quebec City, Canada, the WHC decides the deferral of Hiraizumi.
  • January, 2010:  Japan resubmits a nomination dossier titled: “Hiraizumi - Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land”.
  • September, 2010:  ICOMOS specialists arrive for an on-site evaluation.
  • May, 2011:  ICOMOS recommends WHL inscription

2.  Main contents of deliberation by the World Heritage Committee

Summary

The WHC has decided that “Hiraizumi- Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land” shall be inscribed on the World Heritage List based on the criteria  (2) and (6) with the exclusion of the Yanagi-no-Gosho ruins.

Main points of discussion

  • Although some states agreed that the Yanagi-no-gosho ruins may be included in the property , it was finally decided that its exclusion was appropriate.
  • The Committee made no changes concerning the name of the property. The official name of inscription is thus: “Hiraizumi - Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land”.
  • At the opening of the session, the Chairperson introduced that Hiraizumi was not severely affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Contacts

Agency for Cultural Affairs, Cultural Properties Department, Monuments and Sites Division

Deputy Director : Junichi Kusano (Extension: 2874) , Office for World Cultural Heritage Planning Director : Naoki Nakata (Extension: 4762)
Tel : Reception:03(5253)4111 , Direct:03(6734)2876

(Agency for Cultural Affairs, Cultural Properties Department, Monuments and Sites Division)

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