Large-scale Disasters on World Heritage and Cultural Heritage in Japan: Significant Impacts and Sustainable Management Cases
On 11 March 2011, the East Japan Great Earthquake occurred off the east coast of Japan. This magnitude 9 earthquake caused a tsunami of 8-9 m in height, which subsequently reached an upstream height of up to 40 m, causing extensive damage over a 500-km span along the east coast of Japan. Damage was caused to 295 National Cultural Properties of Japan, most of which was due to the associated tsunamis rather than the earthquake. Particularly, significant damage was seen in the coastal cultural landscapes. In addition, Japan has extremely large typhoons every year. In recent years, it has not been unusual to see typhoon-caused storms, heavy rains and flooding, causing intensive damage such as landslides to World Heritage properties and their buffer zones. Such damage is seen in the pilgrimage routes of the "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range" and in the natural elements of their associated cultural landscapes. The author presents a report on the damage from the East Japan Great Earthquake and other disasters on World Heritage and cultural heritage, and on their increasing occurrence in Japan. A discussion on remedial measures and the need for sustainable protection and management for World Heritage and other significant heritage is included.
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Volume (Year): 40 (2015)
Issue (Month): 6 (August)
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