1.         Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara (Japan) (C 870)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1998

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/870/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/870/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Urban pressure

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/870/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

At its 27th session in 2003, the Committee encouraged the State Party to continue efforts to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the property, after having examined the state of conservation of the property for the first time since its inscription on the World Heritage List in 1998. The Committee suggested that the authorities concerned continue efforts to inform the local communities on the decision-making process. The Committee also requested that a report on the decision-making process and the final decision concerning the construction of the motorway be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, in order for the World Heritage Committee to examine the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session.


According to a report from the Government of Japan in February 2004, the Japanese authorities have established an “Expert Committee for Yamato-Kita Road Construction and Public Involvement”, which includes experts on Law, Cultural Properties, Traffic Engineering, Environment and Landscape, Transport Economics and the Planning Process, to examine the policy for the Yamato-Kita Road, which is part of the “Keinawa Motorway”. In October 2003, this Committee proposed recommendations, which included a new route for the construction of the road. As a result of a comprehensive evaluation of the effects of road development and its impact on the buried cultural properties and the historical landscape of ancient Nara, the Committee recommended a specific area for the construction. A proposal was made to construct a portion of the road underground and two routes were initially selected. After further comprehensive evaluation, the Committee finally selected one route as its preferred choice, which is situated at a reasonable distance from “the Heijokyu (Nara Palace) Site”.


In the report of February 2004, the Government of Japan stated that it would examine the outline of the route and its structure and give serious consideration to the proposal from the Expert Committee. The results of the Assessment will also take public opinion into account. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15B.64

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Noting that the Government of Japan has renewed efforts to examine the potential negative and irreversible impact that the construction of the Keinawa Motorway could have upon the World Heritage value of the property,

2. Encourages the Government of Japan to continue making efforts to ensure the conservation of the authenticity and integrity of the property;

3. Further encourages the Government of Japan to continue making efforts to identify a technical solution to ensure that the impact on the ground water level during the construction will be kept to a minimum so as to protect the World Heritage value of the property;

4. Requests the authorities concerned to continue their efforts in informing the local communities on the decision-making process.