The Centenary Impact Since RMS Titanic Sank upon Universal Regulation of Underwater Cultural Heritage in International Waters, and the Necessity of New Law-Making in Japan

Dublin Core


The Centenary Impact Since RMS Titanic Sank upon Universal Regulation of Underwater Cultural Heritage in International Waters, and the Necessity of New Law-Making in Japan


Session 3
History and Current Trends of Underwater Archaeology around East Asia


2012 is Centennial since Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic sunk. The Titanic was found in 1985, as early as 1986 United States of America (USA) enacted the RMS Titanic Maritime Memorial Act. It aimed at the conclusion of international agreement for the conservation of the Titanic by states concerned. The agreement was started drafting in 1997 and adopted in 2000. It was USA, France, England and Canada that adopted Agreement concerning the Shipwrecked Vessel RMS Titanic (the Agreement). On the other hand United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001 Convention) was made through four diplomatic conferences since 1998, and entered into force in 2010. Thanks to 2001 Convention, the term “Underwater Cultural Heritage” (UCH) has been well-known to people around the world. Be that as it may, to be an UCH needs passage of 100 years; the Titanic will be an UCH next year. Although the importance of 2001 Convention has recently attracted considerable attention, its new trend toward universal regulation has just started emerging from international society. It is the Article 9.2 of the Agreement that attention should be paid. It provides, “If a general multilateral Convention on the protection of underwater cultural heritage enters into force for all Parties, they shall consult to discuss the relationship between this Agreement and that Convention.” Assuming an appropriate coordination of them gives rise to a new trend, it appears more desirable to foresee the near future and timely accede to 2001 Convention after the preparation of domestic laws in Japan referring to 2001 Convention.


Nakada, Tatsuya


November 2011



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