UNESCO decision on Sado mine heritage listing likely to be delayed

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Part of the Sado Gold Mine site in Sado, Niigata Prefecture

The Sado Gold Mine in Sado, Niigata Prefecture, is unlikely to be added to the list of World Heritage sites by next year because UNESCO has decided the government’s letter of recommendation was “insufficient in parts.”

Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Shinsuke Suematsu told reporters about the U.N. body’s decision on Thursday.

The government plans to submit another letter of recommendation, but the delay means the mine is unlikely to be included on the World Heritage list in 2023.

“It’s regrettable but our only option is to submit another letter of recommendation so that the screening can be conducted as quickly as possible,” Suematsu said.

South Korea has opposed the UNESCO listing because it claims the mine was a “site where South Koreans were victims of forced labor.”

The government has established a task force comprising officials from various ministries and agencies that will share information domestically and overseas about the mine’s history and value as a cultural site.