1 September 2008
The Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koichiro Matsuura and the President of the Asahi Shimbun Company, one of the leading newspaper publishers in Japan, Mr Kotaro Akiyama, signed a Media Partnership Agreement through which they will collaborate to raise awareness about intangible cultural heritage among the general public worldwide.Over the past decade, UNESCO has made continuous efforts to broaden the safeguarding of cultural heritage to include living traditions and to provide them with the same level of international recognition and protection as tangible heritage. This culminated in the adoption, in 2003, of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which has been signed to date by some 100 of UNESCO’s Member States. The Convention seeks to safeguard diverse cultural and social practices ranging from oral traditions and performances to rituals, festivities and knowledge systems regarding nature.
As the first print media to join the coalition of UNESCO’s major private sector partners, Asahi will contribute to UNESCO’s efforts to promote this living heritage. The Agreement foresees a series of articles published by Asahi and the organization of international symposiums, seminars exhibitions and other events to raise awareness about the importance of safeguarding intangible heritage.
The English translation of the published articles, together with the photographs taken by Asahi in this context, will be made available to UNESCO for the promotion of intangible cultural heritage worldwide.
Picture note: Ningyo Johruri Bunraku Puppet Theatre
©Agency for Cultural Affairs