Policy Director at Heritage Montreal
■How to make use of the “Dublin Principle” at Hashima
To hold an international conference!
---I have heard that the “Heritage of Industrial Revolution of Meiji Japan” is the first World Heritage Site to adopt the new “ICOMOS-TICCIH Cooperative Principles.”
In recommending this heritage site to UNESCO, the Japanese government considered the idea of this Cooperative Principles to be the most advanced and comprehensive framework for preservation, education, exhibition, and management. Then proposed conservation measures in accordance with the Cooperative Principles. I believe it was the right choice, and as a result, it was very effective and beneficial for achieving to be registered as a World Heritage registration.
When we began to consider the Cooperative Principles in 2003, traditional thinking still dominated the preservation of historic sites in ICOMOS and TICCIH, but in the case of an industrial heritage site like this one, including working assets, a more progressive approach is needed. I believe that the Japanese government and those involved in the website are well aware of this and have fully adopted the new thinking set out in the “Dublin Principles.”
---Two years after it was registered as a World Heritage Site, what does Mr. Bumbaru think of the current status of each constituent asset?
This is not only about the "Heritage of Industrial Revolution of Meiji Japan," but also about the Tomioka Silk Mill, which tells the story of Japan's success during the Meiji period, and how the efforts to address the eight recommendations made by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for registration are progressing. I think this is the point that gets the most attention.
For example, how the attached roads are constructed, or how to balance the preservation of World Heritage values with the maintenance of the function of the operational heritage as a production facility in order to display and introduce them. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Japan has become the "world’s laboratory" for the preservation of World Heritage, as the first case of resolving these issues in accordance with the Dublin Principles. I am very happy to say that the “world's testing ground” has been established in Asia, and not in the West.
---How do you assess the current state of Japan's efforts in relation to these eight recommendations?
I haven't looked at all the constituent assets yet, but from what I have read from the reports compiled by the parties involved, I feel that the preservation plan and the interpretation strategy are progressing smoothly. We have the best experts in the Japanese government and in the municipalities involved, thus, I think we can place full confidence in them.
Of course, there are also some constituent assets that have many challenges, such as Hashima (Battleship Island). Unlike temples and Greek historical heritage, Hashima Island contains the legacy of the workers who lived there, including production facilities, machinery, and even residential areas, schools and community spaces. These have become a very sensitive matter to the UNESCO World Committee for they have taken great interest in how it ought to be preserved in the future. The preservation of Hashima Island is a major challenge, and in that sense, we can say that this will be a case where the true value of the “Dublin Principles” will be tested.
---So the “Heritage of the Industrial Revolution in Meiji Japan" is indeed a test case for the “Dublin Principles.”
Certainly for ICOMOS, and for TICCIH, it could be said that this heritage is a test case for the “Dublin Principles.” More importantly, however, is that the conservation and interpretation of this heritage site are proceeding at the initiative of Japan. The heritage project was put together by the panel of experts led by Professor Yukio Nishimura and Sir Neil Cossons of the ICOMOS Japan. Its main subject is Japan.
As an expert, I have one suggestion, as an expert, for future development: how about holding an international conference on Hashima Island, for example, to discuss conservation measures? How can we further develop a partnership that led to the successful registration of the “Heritage of Industrial Revolution of Meiji Japan” as a World Heritage Site? Or, how the “Dublin Principles” ought to be applied to future preservation. Experts from around the world gather on Hashima Island to openly exchange opinions while facing many challenges. If such a panel were to be actualized, I think it would be a very meaningful event.
---Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule today.
(Interview and Writing: Takeo Takashima, Interpreter: Minae Toya, Photography: NCIH)
Former Mayor of Omuta City
Archaeologist and Heritage Conservation Specialist
A fellow of the Japan Federation of Engineering Societies
Team Member of the Industrial Project Team Office for the Promotion of World Heritage Listing under Cabinet Secretariat
Governor of Kagoshima Prefecture
Mayor of Hagi City
Mayor of Uki City, Kumamoto Prefecture
The Former Employee of Nippon Steel Corporation
An Associate Professor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering in Iwate University
Chairman of the Tourist Guide Association of Misumi West Port
President of Kuraya Narusawa Co., Ltd.
Chairman of Izunokuni City Tourism Association
Director and General Manager of Gunkanjima Concierge
Producer of the Gunkanjima Digital Museum
Owner at Tōge Chaya
Chairman: Mr. Hidenori Date
President: Mr. Masahiro Date
Proprietor, Houraikan Inn
Representative Director of Egawa Bunko non-profit incorporated foundation
The 42nd head of the Egawa Family
Democratic Party for the People (DPP) Representative for Nagasaki Prefecture
President of the NPO, Way to World Heritage Gunkanjima
MI Consulting Group
President of Watanabe Production Group and Honorary Chair of Watanabe Productions Co., Ltd.
Member of the House of Councillors
World Heritage Consultant
Director and Dean, The Kyushu-Asia Institute of Leadership
Representative Director, SUMIDA, Inc.
Journalist, founder of the Shimomura Mitsuko Ikikata Juku School
Representative, Rally Nippon
Chairman, Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution World Heritage Route Promotion Council Director, National Congress of Industrial Heritage
Representative Director, General Incorporated Foundation National Congress of Industrial Heritage (Advisor, Public Interest Incorporated Foundation Capital Markets Research Institute）
Mayor of Nagasaki City
Policy Director at Heritage Montreal
World Heritage Consultant
Executive Director of Kogakuin University
Heritage Architect and International Consultant
Head of Data Acquisition at The Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation
Head of Industrial Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh
Scottish Ten Project Manager, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh
Mayor of Izunokuni City, Shizuoka Prefecture
Pro-Provost and Chairman of Council of the Royal College of Art. Heritage advisor of Canal & River Trust for England and Wales.
Dean of Tokyo Rissho Junior College
Professor emeritus of Keio University
Mayor of Kitakyushu City
At the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee convened in Bonn, Germany, from June 28 to July 8, 2015, the decision was approved to inscribe the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution on the World Heritage list.
At a celebratory party held to mark the occasion, some of the primary promoters of the project spoke of their joy in achieving their goal and of the trials and tribulations to getting there.
Director and Managing Executive Officer, Hanshin Expressway Company Limited
Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage
Vice-Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture
Mayor of Hagi City
Chairman, Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd.
Mayor of Omuta City
Deputy Director-General, Lifelong Learning Policy Bureau, MEXT
Former Counsellor, Cabinet Secretariat
Mayor of Kamaishi City
Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage Counselor, Shimadzu Limited
Chairman of the Consortium for the World Heritage Inscription of Modern Industrial Heritage (Kyushu-Yamaguchi) and governor of Kagoshima Prefecture (as of 2015)