Japan politicians visit Sado Gold Mine as part of bid for World Heritage status

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Senior members of the Liberal Democratic Party’s association for the registration of the Sado Gold Mine as a World Heritage site visit the mine in Sado, Niigata, on Friday.

Senior members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party association working to have Sado Gold Mine in Sado, Niigata, designated as a World Heritage site visited the mine Friday.

About 20 diet members — including former Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone, who serves as chairman of the association, and House of Representatives lawmaker Shuichi Takatori, secretary general of the association — participated in the tour. After receiving an overview of the mine and its history at a facility near the site, the group toured the Sodayu Tunnel, which was dug by hand in the early Edo period (1603-1867), among other sites.

The government recommended the project to UNESCO in February.

“It’s marvelous that a large amount of high-quality gold was made using traditional techniques for a long period,” Nakasone told reporters after the visit, while emphasizing his intention to trumpet the site’s cultural value to the international community. Nakasone also expressed hopes that the South Korean government, which has opposed the mine’s designation as a World Heritage site, will change its stance after Yoon Suk-yeol is installed as the new president later this month.