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Bid for world heritage status for Christian sites retracted

Sample newspaper article

政府は2月9日の閣議で、長崎と熊本県の「教会群とキリスト教関連 遺産」の世界遺産登録への推薦を取り下げることを決定した。関係者によると、ユネスコ諮問機関が1月中旬に「個別資産の役割の説明が不十分」と指摘し、現状では夏に行われる正式審査を目指すのは難しいと通告をしてきたという。政府が昨年1月に推薦したのは、国内最古の教会で国宝に指定されている長崎の大浦天主堂や17世紀に始まった キリシタンに対する禁止、迫害、拷問にも関わらず、信仰を守った熊本県天草の崎津集落などが含まれる。 (Feb. 10)

Words and phrases

政府 (seifu) government; 閣議 (kakugi) Cabinet meeting; 教会群 (kyōkaigun) a slew of churches; キリスト教関連遺産 (Kirisutokyō kanren isan) other Christian sites; 世界遺産 (Sekai Isan) World Heritage; 推薦 (suisen) recommendation; 取り下げる (to-sa-) retract; 決定した (kettei-) decided; 関係者 (kankeisha) people familiar with the matter; 諮問機関 (shimon-kikan) panel; 中旬 (chūjun) mid-; 個別資産 (kobetsu shisan) individual locations; 役割 (yakuwari) role; 説明 (setsumei) explanation; 不十分 (fujūbun) insufficient; 指摘し (shiteki-) saying; 現状では (genjō-) current state; 夏 (natsu) summer; 正式審査 (seishiki shinsa) formal screening; 目指す (meza-) make it to; 通告して (tsūkoku-) notified; 最古の (saiko-) oldest; 国宝 (kokuhō-) national treasure; 指定され (shitei-) designated; 大浦天主堂 (Ōura Tenshudō) Oura Church; 世紀 (seiki) century; 始まった (haji-) starting; 禁止 (kinshi) ban; 迫害 (hakugai) persecution; 拷問 (gōmon) torture; 関わらず (kaka-) despite; 信仰 (shinkō) faith; 守った (mamot-) practiced; 崎津集落 (Sakitsu shūraku) Sakitsu community; 含まれる (fuku-) included

Sample radio or television report

Seifu-wa 2-gatsu kokonoka-no kakugi-de, Nagasaki-to Kumamoto-ken-no “kyōkaigun-to Kirisutokyō kanren isan”-no Sekai Isan tōroku-e-no suisen-o torisageru-koto-o kettei-shimashita. Kankeisha-ni-yorimasu-to, Yunesuko shimon-kikan-ga 1-gatsu chūjun-ni “kobetsu shisan-no yakuwari-no setsumei-ga fujūbun”-to shiteki-shi, genjō-de-wa, natsu-ni okonawareru seishiki shinsa-o mezasu-no-wa muzukashii-to tsūkoku-shitekita-to-iu-koto-desu. Seifu-ga sakunen 1-gatsu-ni suisen-shita-no-wa, kokunai saiko-no kyōkai-de kokuhō-ni shitei sareteiru Nagasaki-no Ōura Tenshudō-ya, 17-seiki-ni hajimatta Kirisitan-ni-tai-suru kinshi, hakugai, gōmon-ni- mo-kakawarazu, shinkō-o mamotta Kumamoto-ken Amakusa-no Sakitsu shūraku-nado-ga fukumarete imasu.

Translation

The government decided at a Cabinet meeting Feb. 9 to retract its recommendation to UNESCO that a slew of churches and other Christian sites in Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures be listed as World Heritage sites. According to people familiar with the matter, a UNESCO advisory panel notified Japan in mid-January that the country’s latest World Heritage submission, in its current state, may not make it to the formal screening this summer, saying the explanation of the roles of the individual locations was insufficient. The sites the government recommended last January include Nagasaki’s Oura Church, the country’s oldest Christian church, which is designated as a national treasure, and the Sakitsu community in Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture, where Christians practiced their faith despite a ban, persecution and even torture that began in the 17th century.

Conversation between acquaintances

A: “Kyōkaigun-to Kirisutokyō kanren isan”-no Yunesuko Sekai Isan tōroku-e-no suisen-ga torisagerareta- sō-desu-ne.

(I heard that the bid for UNESCO to add churches and other Christian sites to the World Heritage register was retracted.)

B: Yunesuko shimon-kikan-ni “kobetsu shisan-no yakuwari-no setsumei-ga fujūbun”-to shiteki-sareta sō-desu-yo.

(A UNESCO panel apparently said that the explanation of the roles of the individual locations was insufficient.)

Conversation between husband and wife

H: Nagasaki-ken-no Ōura Tenshudō-ni itte-mitai-ne.

(I’d like to visit Oura Church in Nagasaki Prefecture sometime.)

W: Kokunai saiko-no kyōkai-da sō-ne.

(It’s the oldest church in Japan, isn’t it?)

(No. 1296)