• Kyodo News

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A UNESCO committee has approved Japan’s request to expand the registered area of the Iwami silver mine World Heritage site in Shimane Prefecture, government officials said Tuesday.

The area has been expanded by about 90 hectares, including a mountain slope surrounding the silver mine, a dock at Yunotsu port that is used for transporting silver, and some of the streets connecting the mine and neighboring ports.

The expansion of areas subject to preservation is aimed at increasing the value of the Iwami silver mine as a World Heritage site, officials at the Cultural Affairs Agency said.

The approval came from the World Heritage Committee, currently meeting in Brasilia.

The Iwami silver mine was added to the list of World Heritage cultural sites in June 2007, although UNESCO’s advisory body, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, recommended in May 2007 forgoing registration, saying there wasn’t enough included in the site to demonstrate its universal value.

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