Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Taliban's Edict to Destroy Statues

March 1, 2001

  1. Japan expresses its deepest concern over the information that Mullah Mohammed Omar has issued an edict to destroy all statues in Afghanistan.

  2. As Afghanistan was a historic cross-road where civilizations such as Islam and Buddhism interfaced, there remain in the country invaluable statues such as the two huge stone statues of Buddha (55meters and 38 meters) in Bamiyan in the central Afghanistan, and it is internationally recognized that they should be preserved. If these cultural heritages, which ought to be preserved as common heritages of the Humanity, should be affected by this edict, the world would suffer an incalculable loss.

  3. Japan urges the Taliban to review the edict and take proper measures for the preservation of cultural heritages. Japan also urges the Taliban and the other conflicting parties in Afghanistan to stop fighting and resume direct talks toward the peace as soon as possible.

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