Japan’s Act on the promotion of International Cooperation for protection of Cultural Heritage Abroad was promulgated and enacted in June 2006. This law aims to have Japan expand its international cooperation activities by using the knowledge, technologies, experience, and other assets that have been amassed to protect overseas cultural heritage in danger of being damaged or lost. The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage (promotion council) was established at the same time to further facilitate cooperation in this area. Over the 10 years since then, the Consortium has created ties between and among various actors working in the field of international cooperation in cultural heritage. These actors include universities, research institutions, public organizations, organizations that support international cooperation, and private-sector aid organizations. In this way, the Consortium has contributed significantly to enhancing Japan’s international cooperation.
Building an integrated network across universities, research institutions, public institutions, agencies that support international cooperation, private-sector aid organizations, and other members.
The Consortium is collecting information and conducting research on the efforts and requests of each country with regard to international cooperation in cultural heritage and publishing information collected through field studies in reports and the database.
Information collection and sharing
The Consortium is developing a database of basic information (such as expert information, results of international cooperation, and information concerning cultural heritage), and providing a Web-based system through which members can search it.
Public relations and dissemination
Providing introductions to Japan’s international cooperation activities in cultural heritage online, and holding events (e.g. symposium, seminar etc.) to broadly deepening understanding of the cooperation activities and the latest trends.
The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage was established with the aim of contributing to the protection of cultural heritage in the international community through the promotion of cooperation among administrative agencies, research and educational institutions, researchers, and private organizations. Since its establishment in 2006, the organization has been mainly engaged in building domestic networks, conducting surveys and research on the initiatives and requests of various countries, creating a database on international cooperation, and conducting public relations and dissemination activities. In recent years, it has been conducting a wider range of activities to raise awareness of international cooperation in cultural heritage, such as webinars and videos of workshops and symposiums.
The importance of international cooperation in the field of cultural heritage preservation is further heightened by the current social situation in which conflicts and terrorist acts, including religious and cultural conflicts, disasters, environmental changes including climate change, and the spread of infectious diseases on a global scale, continue to threaten the preservation of cultural heritage. In addition, the scope of cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, is expanding, and the ways in which people interact with cultural heritage are diversifying, requiring the participation of a wider range of people in its protection.
Under these circumstances, it is important for people involved in cultural heritage in Japan to actively participate in international cooperation activities and for society as a whole to deepen its understanding of and interest in cultural heritage protection, with an eye to the sustainability of international cooperation in cultural heritage in response to changes in social conditions. Furthermore, as one of Japan's unique strengths, it is also expected to contribute to international cooperation by utilizing its knowledge and experience in cultural heritage disaster prevention accumulated through its experience with earthquakes, typhoons, and other wind and flood disasters.
Based on the above, the Consortium will further promote international cooperation in cultural heritage, with the promotion of international collaboration, the development of expert human resources, and the strengthening of communication as pillars of its activities.