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Mt. Fuji poised to get World Heritage status

TOKYO (AP) - Japan's iconic Mt. Fuji looks likely to win recognition as a World Heritage site.

The Agency for Cultural Affairs issued a notice Wednesday saying it had received notification that Mt. Fuji was recommended for World Heritage status by the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a body affiliated with UNESCO.

Formal approval is expected in June at a World Heritage Committee meeting in Cambodia.

A collection of cultural sites in Kamakura, a scenic town near Tokyo, were not recommended.

Mt. Fuji would be Japan's 13th cultural World Heritage site. The 3,776-meter (12,388-foot) volcanic peak is ringed by lakes, national parks, temples and shrines. It rises from the Pacific coast and is seen as a sacred part of Japan's cultural landscape.

About 300,000 people follow religious pilgrims of centuries past in climbing Mt. Fuji each year, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization, most of them crowding into a brief summer climbing season.

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