Cooperation with International Organizations (UNESCO,UNU)
Preservation and Restoration of Tangible Cultural Heritage
December 14, 2016
Outstanding Cultural Heritage is a precious legacy that is shared by all people across national borders, and must be passed down to future generations. However, all around the world, a great number of Cultural Heritage properties are in danger of destruction and extinguishment. Once lost, their restoration is tremendously difficult, making their preservation all the more urgent.
In a 1988 speech by then-Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita in London, Japan announced a framework for international cooperation in order to realize a "Japan that contributes to the world." Japan named the strengthening of international cultural exchange as one of the three pillars of its plan. Toward that goal, Japan established the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the Preservation of World Heritage in UNESCO in 1989 to support the preservation of Cultural Heritage around the world. Between then and 2016, US$ 68.64 million has been donated and preservation and restoration projects have been carried out for 44 properties of Cultural Heritage in a total of 61 countries. The projects have involved a variety of efforts, ranging from the dispatch of Japanese specialists to specific construction work to preserve and restore properties to the supply of machinery and materials. A particular emphasis has been placed on efforts to foster the human resources that will make sustained preservation and restoration possible.
The projects to preserve and restore the Angkor monuments in Cambodia and the Bamiyan ruins in Afghanistan, which have been carried out as a part of post-conflict cultural reconstruction assistance, are flagship projects of Japan's contributions in this field.
These projects utilize the world-class preservation skills that have been developed in Japan by involving Japanese specialists. By implementing the project together with relevant local institutions, Japan ensures that its skills are transferred to the local people, enabling them to protect the Cultural Heritage of their country with their own hands in the future.