Cooperation with International Organizations (UNESCO,UNU)
Cultural Heritage

February 1, 2016
Japanese

Cultural Heritage is the symbolic presence that integrates the history, traditions and culture of a country, region, or community, and while it is an irreplaceable source of pride for the people who belong to such groups, it also possesses a value that can touch all people around the world.

Through such diverse causes as wars, natural disasters and poverty, there are numerous properties of precious tangible and intangible Cultural Heritage currently placed at risk. International cooperation to ensure that such Cultural Heritage is passed on to future generations as a precious legacy shared by all mankind, one that not only demonstrates a position of approval and respect for the cultures of others, but also creates a stable foundation for the international community. Accordingly, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been concentrating its efforts on international cooperation for Cultural Heritage as one of the pillars of its diplomatic policy.

For tangible Cultural Heritage, Japan is taking part in the international system of protection established through the World Heritage Convention. It has also been supporting the protection of the historic ruins and buildings in various countries through the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the Preservation of the World Cultural Heritage that was set up through UNESCO, and by utilizing the exceptional preservation and repair skills developed in Japan for cultural heritage.

For intangible Cultural Heritage, Japan commenced full-fledged domestic efforts for their protection with the establishment of the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties in 1950, far ahead of other countries. It has since been using the wealth of knowledge that it gained through that experience to take a leading role in the creation and implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. In addition, Japan has also been providing support for the safeguarding of traditional dances, music, and craftsmanship in various countries through the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage that was set up through UNESCO.

Cultural diplomacy may take a long time to yield results. Nevertheless, Japan believes that support for the Cultural Heritage that is the pride of people in a nation touches the hearts of people directly. This kind of aid does not stop with just material support but also conveys Japan's knowledge, skills and heart. Cherishing culture can bring about a great long-term benefit.