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UNESCO designates Izu Peninsula as Japan's 9th 'Global Geopark'

JIJI

The UNESCO Global Geoparks Council has designated the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture as a Global Geopark for its unique geology and geography, the Japan Geopark Committee said Tuesday.

The peninsula became the ninth Global Geopark in Japan, after Mount Apoi in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, which gained the UNESCO certification in 2015.

The Izu Peninsula is the only area in the country’s Honshu mainland that is located on the Philippine Sea plate. The peninsula was created after clusters of volcanic islands and submarine volcanos collided with Honshu thanks to the tectonic plate’s northward movement.

In 2015, UNESCO put on hold designation of the peninsula as a Global Geopark as details provided about the international value of its geology were deemed insufficient.

Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu said that the prefecture’s long-cherished wish has been fulfilled. He also said he is determined to pass down the internationally recognized geological value of the Izu Peninsula to future generations while promoting its charms in and outside the country together with local people.