Start to cement the World Heritage Site, Heijo-kyu Remains (平城宮跡)

10 Oct

I heard very surprising news this morning.

The grassland around Heijo-kyu Remains (Heijo Palace Remains), which is one of the world heritage sites in Japan, is going to be paved with cement.

According to this webpage ( http://narapress.jp/hjk/ ) and this article ( http://www.ac.auone-net.jp/~nara-koe/news245.html ), the MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) has planed to cement grassland which have preserved remains for over one thousand years, and it is about 45,000 square meters of land. The MLIT said it is a park improvement project. Their goal is to enable people to walk the park easily. However, they didn’t investigate the influence of groundwater by the construction.

Moreover, the Agency of Cultural Affairs didn’t report the project to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Since the World Heritage Committee demanded the removal of the car park near Suzakumon that was cemented two years ago, the Heijo-kyu remains might be no longer appreciated as a world heritage if this plan will be implemented. Citizens concerned about the reduction of grassland and a bad effect on underground remains, called for MLIT to halt the project.

To be honest, I’ve never been to Heijo-kyu remains although I’ve been to the Nara park area where there are Todai-ji, Kasuga-taisha, Kofuku-ji, Nara National Museum, and so on. Nara is abundant in nature and we can feel the Japanese history there. I oppose this project which can cause ecological damage. We must protect historical remains, beautiful scenery and magnificent nature.

* Heijo-kyu was located in the north of Heijo-kyo which was the Japanese capital city in the Nara period (710 – 794).

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