Wednesday, 31st December 2014
In General Japan News,
Fuji to have limits for preservation
Sport enthusiasts looking to climb Mount Fuji, one of Japan's most renowned landmarks, will have to adhere to newly enforced limits on how far they can venture up the famous mountain in the new year.
That is if plans currently being debated by the Fujisan World Cultural Heritage Council, a cooperative body made up of officials from the central government and Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, as well as local municipalities in the vicinity, go through.
The group intends for the new limits to help preserve Mount Fuji for generations to come as tourism to Japan steadily picks up. According to recently released information, the country welcomed 13 million visitors in 2014 - a record high.
However, the Fujisan World Cultural Heritage Council stopped short of announcing which measures will definitely be implemented in 2015 and emphasised that anything is currently possible.
"We have many agendas to discuss from now on," said Shomei Yokouchi, the governor of Yamanashi Prefecture. "We want to work hard to conserve [Mount Fuji] with each area seriously committing."
Mount Fuji is a landmark of national pride for Japan, having appeared in thousands of films, anime, manga and even on banknotes and art associated with the country.
Thousands of people visit the mountain every year during the summer season when it is safer to climb. But its recent designation as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site has sparked talk of how to preserve it for future generations.
Suggestions have included limiting the number of people who visit and charging those who climb the mountain - a measure that was implemented earlier this year on a voluntary basis. Some 10,000 mountaineers paid the 1,000 yen (£5.35) fee over the first ten days following its introduction.
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Climbing season begins on Mount Fuji (2nd July 2015)
Diamond Fuji brings in the tourists (28th November 2014)
Mt Fuji World Heritage registration is mixed blessing (26th June 2014)