The announcement by the body under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization came at an international conference on South Korea's Cheju Island.
Following its initial success in 2010 when the first Setouchi festival drew around 940,000 visitors to the region, the mass contemporary arts event has returned on an even larger scale with a longer season spread over three sessions. Unlike other exhibitions, the Setouchi Triennale 2013 is deeply rooted in its location, by placing modern art installations among the beautiful natural landscapes and deserted houses of the Setouchi islands.
The facility, which will be used to unload supplies, fuel and water, is part of a 160-meter-long pier being built off a coral atoll with a circumference of about 11 kilometers.
The Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo's Sumida Ward is set to release six green sea turtles back into their original habitat on the Ogasawara Islands this coming August. The turtles, which have been bred and exhibited at the aquarium, are designated a vulnerable species on a list maintained by the Ministry of the Environment for animals in danger of extinction.
Positioned at the southern-most point of Japan are the beautiful Yaeyama Islands. Scattered around the central Ishigaki Island are a number of beautiful coral reefs that rival the best in the world. The people of the islands continue to lead a simple lifestyle while keeping their traditions from long ago. In addition, the unique ecosystem is home to a number of exotic plants and animals starting with the protected “Iriomote Yamaneko (Iriomote Mountain Cat)”. The Yaeyama Islands truly are Japan’s last paradise.