On the 5th, the Japan Geopark Committee, which is made up of experts, announced the results of a regular examination that 11 areas have been recertified as a natural park “Japan Geopark” with valuable topography and geology. Of these, the Southern Alps (Nagano) and Shirataki (Hokkaido) were conditionally recertified. In addition, the area expansion of Sakurajima / Kinko Bay (Kagoshima) was also approved.

In the Southern Alps, local governments have emphasized “power spots” and attracted guests, and the committee criticized them as “unscientific and not in line with the Geopark philosophy.” Shirataki said, “Activities are stagnant due to the reduction of the number of staff at the secretariat.” In principle, the regular examination is conducted once every four years, but if conditions are met, it will be re-examined two years later.