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UNESCO panel to back records on Korean envoys’ Japan visits for Memory of the World

Kyodo

A UNESCO panel plans to recommend adding centuries-old diplomatic records concerning visits by Korean envoys to Japan to its Memory of the World Register, Japanese and South Korean sources close to the matter said Monday.

Director-General Irina Bokova of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization will soon make the final decision on the documents, the sources said. The body’s International Advisory Committee in Paris assessed whether to list the records in a closed-door meeting last week.

The 333 documents on envoys sent by the Korean Dynasty to Japan, mainly in the Edo Period between the 17th and 19th centuries, were jointly filed by Japanese and South Korean municipalities and private entities.

They include diplomatic papers and pictures of the envoys stored in 12 prefectures across Japan and in parts of South Korea.

From Japan, registration applications have been filed for three ancient stone monuments north of Tokyo and the records of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who helped some 6,000 Jewish refugees escape Nazi persecution during World War II.

So far, five sets of materials from Japan have been listed in the Memory of the World Register, which is aimed at preserving rare or ancient records and documents from around the world. The assessments are made on a biennial basis.