Japan decides to recommend old industrial facilities as World Heritage

The Japanese government decided Friday to recommend old industrial facilities in eight prefectures for inclusion on UNESCO's list of World Heritage cultural sites in 2015.

The so-called "Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution" comprise 28 facilities that represent Japan's industrialization from the late 19th to early 20th centuries.

The facilities, mostly located in Kyushu and neighboring Yamaguchi Prefecture in Honshu, include the Yawata ironworks and the Nagasaki dockyard, both still in operation, as well as Hashima Islet, which once flourished with an undersea coal mine.

The government will submit preliminary documents to the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization later this month.

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee will examine Japan's proposal in 2015.

Earlier, a panel of experts at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology called for adding a set of 13 Christian locations in Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures to the list.

But as countries are allowed to recommend only one World Heritage candidate each year, Tokyo has decided to seek the inscription of the Christian facilities in the following year.

For World Heritage designation in 2014, Japan is recommending the Tomioka silk mill in Gunma Prefecture, which is the oldest Japanese government-run silk mill, completed in 1872.

Currently the World Heritage list has 981 items worldwide -- 759 cultural, 193 natural and 29 of mixed heritage.

From Japan, 13 cultural and four natural sites are registered, including Mt. Fuji and the Ogasawara Islands located some 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo.