Connect to share and comment

Kamakura to cancel World Heritage bid


Kamakura mayor Takashi Matsuo said Monday he will ask the Agency for Cultural Affairs to drop its recommendation to list the ancient city in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, to be registered on the World Heritage list.

Kamakura, located about 50 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, was the seat of a samurai government from the late 12th to 14th centuries that nurtured Japanese culture including the tea ceremony and Zen rituals.

The remarks by the mayor came after the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization advisory panel rejected Japan's request to list the city, citing scarce assets linked to the influence of samurai warrior class.

"It is highly likely that Kamakura will not be registered," Matsuo told a city assembly meeting. "We'd like to try again after cancelling the request for now."

If UNESCO's World Heritage Committee decided in June not to register Kamakura, it would be impossible for the city to try again. The city has therefore decided to cancel the request for the time being and review its strategies before making another attempt, the officials said.

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is expected to approve at its June meeting the registration of Japan's iconic Mt. Fuji as a World Heritage site.