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The Negative Effect Of Unesco World Heritage On Mount Fuji

2012 words - 8 pages

I passed by the beach
At Tago and saw
The snow falling, pure white,
High on the peak of Fuji.
-Akahito Yamabeno (Rexroth 61)

This poetry describing Mount Fuji is written in the 8 century in Japan. Needless to say, Mount Fuji is the biggest and most famous mountain in Japan. In June 2013, Mount Fuji was granted World Heritage status because of the cultural influence for arts and religions (“Fujisan”). Japanese people have admired Mount Fuji and described it in literatures or pictures because of the grand figure of Mount Fuji. Some of arts about Mount Fuji are very famous in the world, for example, Hokusai’s “36views of Fuji (Hugaku sanjyurokkei)”. For that, foreigners tend to associate Japan with Mount Fuji. While Mount Fuji has been a source of artistic inspiration, Mount Fuji has had an aspect as sacred sites. Around Mount Fuji, there are many shrines to worship Mount Fuji. Furthermore, Japanese people around Mount Fuji have treated it as sacred mountain since ancient times. In Jomon era, some settlements around Mount Fuji had facilities for a ritual. In Edo era, the pilgrimage to Mount Fuji became a big movement within people in Edo. It is able to say that Mount Fuji is a enormous religious facility.
It seems good that Mount Fuji has been listed in World Heritages, but Japanese people, especially people around Mount Fuji have to consider what the name of world heritage brings. UNESCO world heritage registration of Mount Fuji consequently gives bad effect to Mount Fuji because on behalf of economic effects, environment and culture are in danger.

In general, the name of “World Heritage sites” has very large influence on economy around the heritage. The influence can be evaluated by calculation of economic effect and increase number of sightseers. In calculation, Economic effect of World Heritage around Mount Fuji is enormous. The calculation of economic effect by Shizuoka economic research institute is about 6 billion yen in Shizuoka side and 3 billion yen in Yamanashi side (“Shizuoka”). In fact, some tourism companies estimate increase of sightseers. According to Osaki, they regard the world heritage designation as the best opportunity that will stimulate foreign sightseers to visit Mount Fuji. For that, they prepare many guides who can speak English and make a convenient plan for foreign sightseers to visit Mount Fuji from Tokyo. Actually, how does the number of tourists increase in this year? Seiichi Kondo, Japan's Commissioner of the Agency for Cultural Affairs and a former ambassador to Unesco, said that the number of visitors has risen 15 percent (Belson TR.2). To think the economic effect, Mount Fuji does not have long period after registration, so examples of other World Heritages are also helpful to estimate the influence. To see other cases, it is obvious that the designation of World Heritage has a large impact on the numbers of tourists. According to Onishi, while the iwami silver mine in Shimane...

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