Education minister Hakubun Shimomura says he’s open to cooperating with South Korea in trying to put the records of ancient Korean envoys who visited Japan on UNESCO’s world memory heritage list.
Nagasaki Gov. Hodo Nakamura asked Shimomura on Thursday to promote joint cooperation as a way to deepen Japan-South Korea relations ahead of the 50th anniversary next year of bilateral diplomatic relations.
Some municipal governments in Nagasaki Prefecture are already working with a group in Busan, South Korea, to secure registration of the historical records on the UNESCO list for 2017.
Korean rulers sent envoys to Japan during the Edo Period from the 17th to 19th centuries.
Also Thursday, the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO said it has selected two items it will recommend for the U.N. body’s Memory of the World Register.
For registration in 2015, the commission will recommend Toji Hyakugo Monjo, a set of documents from the eighth to 18th centuries stored at Toji Temple in Kyoto Prefecture, and materials related to Japanese detained by the Soviet Union in Siberia after World War II, including their diaries.
Toji Hyakugo Monjo, designated a national treasure in 1997, was proposed by the central government, while the detainee materials were nominated by the city of Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture.
The commission had to decide on two collections out of four that were proposed. Each country can recommend up to two items for a biennial listing.
The two rejected items are a 1922 declaration to establish Zenkoku Suiheisha, a group that fought for legal equality of outcasts, and the wills of kamikaze pilots held in Minamikyushu, Kagoshima Prefecture. These materials are expected to be recommended for registration in 2017 or later.