Japan's Mount Fuji on verge of UNESCO World Heritage listing



Mt. Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 meters (12,460 feet), is expected to be formally listed in June when the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO meets in Cambodia, said an official at the foreign ministry.

In its request for registration, the agency for cultural affairs said Mt. Fuji covers roughly 70,000 hectares (172,900 acres) in Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, including five major lakes and the Shiraito Falls, as well as eight Shinto shrines.

Fuji, a volcano that last erupted around 300 years ago, is one of Japan's most instantly recognizable sights. Images of its snow-capped peak adorn tourism literature published at home and abroad.

UNESCO's World Heritage program is governed by an international treaty intended to "encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity," its mission statement says.

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