Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites

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Description of the activities for the promotion of the registration as a world heritage site


History of activities to date

2003 Aug. (Gunma Pref.) Announced of the start of the research project to register Tomioka Silk Mill as a world heritage site.
2004 Apr. (Gunma Pref.) Established the World Heritage Registration Promotion Office in the New Policy Division
Aug. (Private sector) Established Tomioka Silk Mill World Heritage “Missionary” Association (voluntary organization).
Nov. (Gunma Pref.) Established the “Tomioka Silk Mill World Heritage Registration Promotion Committee.”
2005 Apr. (Tomioka City) Established the” Tomioka Silk Mill Division.”
May (National government) Designated the “Former Tomioka Silk Mill” as a national historic site.
Oct. (Tomioka City) Started the tentative management of Tomioka Silk Mill.
2006 Jan. (Tomioka City) Concluded an agreement with Katakura Industries Co., Ltd. to convert the site into a public land.
Jul. (National government) Designated Tomioka Silk Mill buildings built in the early Meiji period as a national important cultural property.
(National government) Selected the group of silk-raising farmhouse in the Akaiwa district of Kuni-mura as an important preservation district for groups of historical buildings.
Aug. (Private sector) Established the “Vitalization committee for the preservation of Akaiwa important preservation district for groups of historical buildings.”
Sep. (National government) The Agency for Cultural Affairs started to invite the proposal on the additional properties for the tentative list.
Oct. (Gunma Pref.) Held a briefing for municipal governments.
Nov. (Tomioka City) Completed the conversion of Tomioka Silk Mill into a public land.
(Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities) Submitted the proposal of the ”Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Industrial Heritage” to the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
2007 Jan. (National government) The Agency for Cultural Affairs selected the ”Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Industrial Heritage” as a candidate for a world heritage site.
→Listed additionally in the Japan’s Tentative List for the World Heritage.
Apr. (Tomioka City) Introduced charges on the admission to Tomioka Silk Mill.
(Private sector) Local voluntary organizations (six groups) established the ”Silk Country Gunma Liaison Council. ”
Jun. Reported the additional listing in the tentative list at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
Aug. (Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities / Private sector) Held a series of events “Silk Country Gunma in Akaiwa.”
2008 Mar. (National government / Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities) Held the World Heritage Forum, “Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites.”
(Private Sector) Established a voluntary organization “Association for Takayama-sha.”
Jun. (Gunma Pref.) Governor of Gunma Prefecture made a courtesy visit to UNESCO Headquarters.
Jul. (Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities) Held a meeting among Mayors of relevant municipalities and Governor of Gunma prefecture.
Sep. (Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities) Held the Relevant Local Governments Liaison Conference for World heritage Registration Promotion.
→Hereafter regular meetings have been held twice a year.
2009 Feb. (Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities / Private sector) Held a series of events “Silk Country Gunma in Kiryu.”
Apr. (Gunma Pref.)Established the World Heritage Registration Promotion Division.
(Gunma Pref.)Established a subsidiary group of the planning board to strengthen internal cooperation related to World Heritage Registration Promotion in prefectural government.
Jul. (National government / Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities) Established the scientific committee for “Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites.” Hereafter, the committee held its meetings ten times by February 2011.
2010 Feb. (National government / Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities / Private sector) Held the “Silk Country Gunma International Symposium 2010.”
(National government / Gunma Pref.) Held First World Heritage Experts Meeting for “Tomioka Silk Mill and Relates Industrial Heritage.”
Mar. (Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities / Private sector) Held a series of events “Silk Country Gunma in Isesaki”.
Sep. (Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities / Private sector) Held a series of events “Silk Country Gunma in Shimonita”.
Nov. (National government / Gunma Pref.) Held Second World Heritage Experts Meeting for “Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites.”
(National Government / Gunma Pref.) Held the “International Symposium for “Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites.”
2011 Jun. (Gunma Pref.)Governor of Gunma Prefecture made a courtesy visit to the Commissioner of the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
Sep. (Gunma Pref.)Governor of Gunma Prefecture made a courtesy visit to the Commissioner of the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
Oct. (National government / Gunma Pref.)Held Third World Heritage Experts Meeting for “Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites.”
(National Government / Gunma Pref.) Held the “International Symposium for “Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites.”
2012 Mar. (Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities / Private sector) Held a series of events “Silk Country Gunma in Tomioka Silk Mill.”
Jul. (National government) World Cultural Heritage Special Committee agreed to nominate “Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites” as the World Heritage candidate
Aug. (National government) Made decision to submit the draft nomination dossier of “Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites.”
Sep. (National government) Submitted the draft nomination dossier to UNESCO.
Oct. (Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities) Held a meeting among Mayors of relevant municipalities and Governor of Gunma prefecture.
(Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities) Held a series of events to commemorate the 140th anniversary of Tomioka Silk Mill.
Nov. (Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities) Held a symposium to commemorate the 140th anniversary of Tomioka Silk Mill.
2013 Jan. (National government) Made decision to submit the nomination dossier of “Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites.”
(National government) Submitted the nomination dossier to UNESCO.
Feb. (Gunma Pref. / Relevant municipalities / Private sector) Held a series of events “Silk Country Gunma in Fujioka.”

Gunma Prefecture’s Major Approaches

Inspectors photo

Work to the preparation for nomination
In order to prepare nomination documents to be submitted to the UNESCO, we promote the survey research of the components, designation as a national cultural property, establishment of the buffer zone, and so on.
Seminar photo

Support of explanation activities of cultural heritage
Since it is difficult to make the values of industrial heritage understood without any explanation, we support the groups, which give explanation on Tomioka Silk Mill and other silk industrial heritages in Gunma Prefecture, by offering training sessions, creating description manuals and videos, etc.
Gunma Prefecture also dispatches four explicators and instructors to Tomioka Silk Mill through the Gunma Sericultural Industry Promotion Council.
Local voluntary organizations photo

Cooperation with local voluntary organizations
We support the activities of the local voluntary organizations operating in Gunma Prefecture, such as the “Tomioka Silk Mill World Heritage Missionary Association,” “Tomioka Silk Mill Fan Club,” and ”Vitalization committee for the preservation of Akaiwa important preservation district for groups of historical buildings.”
Public relations photo

Proactive public relations
We promote public relations proactively both inside and outside Gunma Prefecture so that more people will know about the “Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Industrial Heritage” and promote understanding for its registration as a world heritage site.
Local voluntary organizations also participate in these public relations proactively.
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