Govt Turns in New Sado Gold Mine UNESCO Bid

Jiji Press
The Sado gold mine site in Niigata Prefecture

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The government has submitted a revised recommendation letter to UNESCO for the designation of the Sado gold mine site in Niigata Prefecture as a World Cultural Heritage site, Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Keiko Nagaoka said Friday.

If things go smoothly, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee will hold discussions around summer 2024 on whether to add the Sado site to the heritage list.

“We’re committed to seeing [the Sado site] become a World Heritage site,” Nagaoka told a press conference.

The government submitted its initial recommendation letter for the Sado site in February last year, amid criticism from South Korea, which claimed that people from the Korean Peninsula were forced to work there.

The procedure for reviewing the recommendation has been put on hold after UNESCO said that the Japanese letter had lacked an explanation on gaps in waterways used to collect placer gold at the site.

In the revised letter, the government added an explanation on such gaps.