• Kyodo

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Yakushima Island off Kagoshima Prefecture in 1993 became the country’s first natural site to be entered on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, together with the Shirakami Mountain Range in northeastern Japan.

Known for its many large cedar trees and hot springs, Yakushima is still enjoying a boom in tourism 18 years after registration. The increase in the number of visitors, however, has caused the island’s environment to deteriorate, and the local town government has been exploring ways to make tourism compatible with environmental protection.

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