GRIPS 政策研究センター Policy Research Center


Aug 15, 2014 Report No:14-10

Cultural heritage protection system in Japan: current issues and prospects for the future

Field Multi Disciplinary policy studies
Language English

 This paper shows how the social importance of heritage in Japan has grown, focusing on the evolution of the protection system. Heritage protection has been carried out, largely by the national government, for more than 150 years. Epochal events such as the modernization of the Meiji restoration in 1868 and the democratization at the end of World War II (WWII) in 1945 greatly affected both the designation of the heritage to be protected and the protection system. Rescue of the possessions of the declining aristocracy and temples was the original purpose in the late 1800s, and in the immediate pre-WWII period nationalistic motivations became more important. After WWII, heritage was treated as a national asset, but remained a relatively small part of society for a long time. However the importance of heritage values has recently been increasingly recognized and protection measures diversified as Japan has matured in terms of its society and economy. Today heritage is being integrated and linked closely with community development, and its protection is being carried out not only by government but also by various stakeholders.


Keywords cultural properties, heritage, protection, development, values
attachment 14-10.pdf