Nominees for UNESCO world register to be selected


Japan’s candidates for the biennial UNESCO Memory of the World Register will be selected this spring.

At least two cities have been preparing to nominate their war-related collections for the register in 2015, 70 years after the end of World War II. The recommendation deadline is the end of March. Each country can nominate up to two items as candidates.

Unlike recommendations for the World Heritage list and Intangible Cultural Heritage list, which are based on international conventions, organizations other than governments can submit nominations for the Memory of the World.

A collection of paintings and documents by Sakubei Yamamoto depicting coal miners, registered in 2011, was nominated by the city of Tagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, and Fukuoka Prefectural University.

Japan got two items registered in 2013. They were materials related to the Keicho mission to Europe and “Midokanpakuki,” the world’s oldest diary in the author’s own handwriting.

For 2015, the central government has decided to recommend Toji Hyakugo Monjo, a collection of documents recognized as a national treasure passed down to Toji Temple in the city of Kyoto, leaving one slot open for a local nomination.

The city of Minamikyushu, Kagoshima Prefecture, where the Imperial Japanese Army’s special attack units had their staging base in the late stages of World War II, plans to submit a nomination for 333 war-related documents under the name “Letters from Chiran.”

The collection includes suicide notes left by kamikaze pilots that are in the possession of the Chiran Peace Museum in the city.

Mutsuo Kuwashiro, an official in charge of the nomination, said the collection is a valuable heritage for humankind as it shows the misery of war to people across the world and sends the message that a war like that should never occur again.

  • Hanako

    While war-time Japan took so many young men’s lives by telling them to kill themselves, they killed so many American boys. That is just not INAPPROPRIATE for UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Don’t forget that UNESCO is a branch of the United Nations, which was formed after WWII to try to prevent future wars. It’s an organization dedicated to peace.
    I am Japanese, I can read Japanese and I have read so many suicide notes that made me cry. As a mother of two children, I cannot imagine how parents felt when they read the notes other than being torn apart. They probably said they were proud of their sons in public, but I am sure they were crying in their heart. These suicide notes are not suitable for UNESCO Memory of the World Register AT ALL!!!!!!