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Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining

Japan
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Human resources
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Marine transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Factors identified at the time of inscription in 2015:

  • Management systems / Management Plan (Lack of a detailed conservation work programme for Hashima Island; Need to develop a prioritised conservation work programme for the property and its component sites and an implementation programme)
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation (Visitor levels) 
  • Management activities; Human resources (Lack of a training programme for all staff and stakeholders responsible for the day-to-day management of each component) 
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities; Management systems/Management Plan (Lack of an adequate interpretive strategy for the presentation of the property)
  • Ground transport infrastructure (Road construction projects at Shuseikan and Mietsu Naval Dock)
  • Marine transport infrastructure (New anchorage facility at Miike Port)
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure (Proposals for the upgrade or development of visitor facilities)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 30 November 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report followed, on 19 January 2018, by a revised version to correct factual errors, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1484/documents. The State Party notes that the report was drafted after consultation with Local Conservation Councils and takes into consideration advice from national and international members of the Industrial Heritage Expert Committee set up for the property. It was approved by the National Committee of Conservation and Management for the overall serial property and is in line with the Strategic Framework for the property. Progress with the eight recommendations made by the Committee at the time of inscription is presented in the report as follows:

  • A detailed, 30-year conservation work programme for Hashima Coal Mine has been prepared in cooperation with Nagasaki City. Three 10-year phases are envisaged, starting in 2018, and will be reviewed every 10 years; the City envisages a budget of around JPY 10.8 billion (ca. USD 101,628,000) over the entire implementation schedule. The sea wall, built in the Meiji era around reclaimed land, is given priority in the first phase, together with research on conservation techniques. To ensure that visitors can appreciate the scope and density of coal mining structures and domestic facilities, viewing platforms will be installed;
  • Conservation work programmes and their implementation programmes have been prepared for each component site, in cooperation with owners and local government;
  • Visitor numbers for each component site are being monitored for a period of three years. Based on the results of this work, the carrying capacity for each site will be determined in 2019. A Visitor Management Strategy will then be prepared, which will set out visitor threshold levels for each component site;
  • The effectiveness of the new partnership-based framework for the conservation and management of the property and its components has been monitored, notably through annual reports, and is considered to be operating effectively;
  • Capacity-building policies and techniques to be shared by the entire property have been developed. In addition, a textbook for personnel training and the organisation of workshops has been produced;
  • Monitoring charts have been produced to allow Local Conservation Councils to receive annual conservation reports for each of the component parts;
  • To ensure a consistent approach to the property’s ongoing conservation, management and presentation, common policies and techniques have been created for the overall property and will be used for training and capacity building;
  • An interpretive strategy for the presentation of the property is under preparation, which gives particular emphasis to the way in which each site contributes to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and reflects one or more of the phases of industrialisation, while allowing an understanding of the full history of each site, as requested by the Committee. This Strategy is based on the results of an Interpretation Audit carried out by international experts and on the ICOMOS Charter for the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites (ENAME Charter). It is seen as a ‘dynamic ongoing framework within which to communicate the significances of the World Heritage Site’, and information will be available in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. Two websites have been created, as well as a 24-page summary of the nomination dossier, available in English and Japanese, and an app developed in four languages. These include information on sites not open to visitors;
  • After monitoring the governance framework, the State Party considers that communication and cooperation mechanisms function effectively. Monitoring is being undertaken systematically for all component sites, and the resulting data will inform future reporting to the Committee;
  • Development projects for road construction at Shuseikan and the Mietsu Naval Dock, for a new anchorage facility at Miike Port, and for the upgrading of visitor facilities at the Nirayama Reverbatory Furnaces, were submitted to the World Heritage Committee for examination, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The detailed conservation work programme for Hashima Island was requested at the time of inscription due to the poor state of conservation of this site, which required urgent, large-scale conservation activities and a prioritized work programme. The State Party has developed a 30-year programme – a timescale commensurate with the scope of the work involved – to stabilize the island’s retaining walls, conserve decaying remains, and preserve the battleship form of the island’s silhouette. It is noted that the programme will encompass both attributes of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and elements of national and local value, but since some buildings made of wood, steel, and reinforced concrete have collapsed or irreversibly decayed since 1974, further studies are needed to ascertain what can be conserved. Further archaeological studies are also needed, along with more research on historical documents, structural materials and visitor movements. An Action Plan should be developed by Nagasaki City, covering project deadlines, implementation techniques for phased work, and setting annual goals. It is recommended that the Committee commend the State Party for the details provided so far, and request further details on this major conservation project as it develops.

It is noted that visitor numbers for each component site have been monitored since 2016, and a visitor management strategy, including carrying capacities, will be formulated in 2019 on the basis of these results. It is recommended that this strategy be submitted to the World Heritage Centre once it is completed.

An ‘interpretive strategy for the presentation of the property’ was requested by the Committee to allow for an understanding of the ‘full history’ of each component site (see Decision 39 COM 8B.14). Although interpretation has improved since inscription, following an ‘audit by international experts’, more work is planned according to the State Party. In a statement made at the time of inscription, the State Party indicated that “Japan is prepared to take measures that allow an understanding that there were a large number of Koreans and others who were brought against their will and forced to work under harsh conditions in the 1940s at some of the sites, and that, during World War II, the Government of Japan also implemented its policy of requisition. Japan is prepared to incorporate appropriate measures into the interpretive strategy to remember the victims such as the establishment of information centre”.

It is noted that, at all sites, interpretation will reflect the period of greatest contribution to OUV, i.e. 1850s-1910, while at some sites the full history will include pre-1850s information and at others it will go beyond 1910. It appears that more details will be provided at the new Centre. The Committee might wish encourage the State Party to ensure that this phase of the property’s history is acknowledged not only in the new Centre but also at components sites and in digital interpretation.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.10
Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining (Japan) (C 1484)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B.Add2,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 8B.14[1], adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Takes note of the illustrated reports provided on conservation work carried out at various component sites, along with future priorities;
  4. Commending the State Party on the details provided so far concerning Hashima Island, notes the substantial progress achieved in the development of a detailed 30-year conservation work programme for the island and the commitment of resources for the length of the plan and also notes that the programme will stabilise the island’s retaining walls, conserve decaying remains and preserve the battleship form of its silhouette, and that priority will be given in the first phase to the retaining walls and researching conservation techniques;
  5. Requests the State Party to submit the following information to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, as it becomes available:
    1. One or more study(ies) on those buildings made of wood, steel, and reinforced concrete which have collapsed or irreversibly decayed since 1974, and whether they can be conserved,
    2. Further archaeological studies,
    3. More research on historical documents, structural materials and visitor movements,
    4. An Action Plan, developed by Nagasaki City, covering project deadlines, implementation techniques for phased work, and setting annual goals;
  6. Further notes that monitoring of the number of visitors is being undertaken systematically for all component sites, and that a visitor management strategy, including carrying capacities, will be formulated in 2018 on the basis of these results; and also requests the State Party to submit this strategy to the World Heritage Centre, once it is completed, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Notes furthermore that interpretation is available for all component sites, and that digital communications have been developed, but that further improvements are planned, including Information Centre to be opened;
  8. Further requests the State Party to provide an update on overall interpretation upon completion of Information Centre;
  9. Strongly encourages the State Party to take into account best international practices for interpretation strategies when continuing its work on the interpretation of the full history of the property, both during and outside of the period covered by its OUV, and in the digital interpretation materials;
  10. Encourages continuing dialogue between the concerned parties;
  11. Requests furthermore the State Party to fully implement Decision 39 COM 8B.14[1] and to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020.

[1] The World Heritage Committee takes note of the statement made by Japan, as regards the interpretive strategy that allows an understanding of the full history of each site as referred to in paragraph 4.g) of the Decision 39 COM 8B.14, which is contained in the Summary Record of the session (document WHC-15/39.COM/INF.19).

Draft Decision: 42 COM 7B.10

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 8B.141, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Takes note of the illustrated reports provided on conservation work carried out at various component sites, along with future priorities;
  4. Commending the State Party on the details provided so far concerning Hashima Island, notes the substantial progress achieved in the development of a detailed 30-year conservation work programme for the island and the commitment of resources for the length of the plan and also notes that the programme will stabilise the island’s retaining walls, conserve decaying remains and preserve the battleship form of its silhouette, and that priority will be given in the first phase to the retaining walls and researching conservation techniques;
  5. Requests the State Party to submit the following information to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, as it becomes available:
    1. One or more study(ies) on those buildings made of wood, steel, and reinforced concrete which have collapsed or irreversibly decayed since 1974, and whether they can be conserved,
    2. Further archaeological studies,
    3. More research on historical documents, structural materials and visitor movements,
    4. An Action Plan, developed by Nagasaki City, covering project deadlines, implementation techniques for phased work, and setting annual goals;
  6. Further notes that monitoring of the number of visitors is being undertaken systematically for all component sites, and that a visitor management strategy, including carrying capacities, will be formulated in 2018 on the basis of these results; and also requests the State Party to submit this strategy to the World Heritage Centre, once it is completed, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Notes furthermore that interpretation is available for all component sites, and that digital communications have been developed, but that further improvements are planned, including Information Centre to be opened;
  8. Further requests the State Party to provide an update on overall interpretation upon completion of Information Centre;
  9. Strongly encourages the State Party to take into account best international practices for interpretation strategies when continuing its work on the interpretation of the full history of the property, both during and outside of the period covered by its OUV, and in the digital interpretation materials;
  10. Encourages continuing dialogue between the concerned parties;
  11. Requests furthermore the State Party to fully implement Decision 39 COM 8B.14[1] and to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020.

[1] The World Heritage Committee takes note of the statement made by Japan, as regards the interpretive strategy that allows an understanding of the full history of each site as referred to in paragraph 4.g) of the Decision 39 COM 8B.14, which is contained in the Summary Record of the session (document WHC-15/39.COM/INF.19)

Report year: 2018
Japan
Date of Inscription: 2015
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2017) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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