JAPAN'S EARLY PALAEOLITHIC FABRICATION SCANDAL
Cultural Resources Laws on the Internet
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by Charles T. Keally|
August 12, 2001
The Japanese Early Palaeolithic fabrication scandal has caused considerable discussion of ethical and professional standards. Japanese archaeology effectively lacks clear, written codes for ethics and professional standards. The fact that Japan has one of the world's best laws for the preservation of cultural properties, and numerous government white papers and guidelines for conducting archaeological work, obscures the fact that (1) these laws, white papers and guidelines are not generally in the hands of the field archaeologists, or referred to by them, and (2) they are not available on the Internet on the Agency for Cultural Affairs's web site. (Note that the Ministry of the Environment does post its relevant laws and regulations on its web site [see links below].) Matters related to the law and regulations are generally handled by the local municipality office or the prefecture or the Agency for Cutural Affairs; these are not matters generally handled by the field director on an archaeological project.
Moreover, in reports on archaeological work done under the law (contract archaeology), reference is made to the relevant laws and regulations in all the US reports I have seen, but not in any of the more than 1,000 Japanese reports in my possession.
These facts suggest to me that, in general, Japanese archaeologists have a low awareness of the laws and regulations under which they work. In such a context, it is expectable that there would also be a very low awareness of the need for clear, written codes of ethics and professional standards.
- Archaeology falls under the
Agency for Cultural Affairs (in English)
[in Japanese], but that agency's web site does not have the laws posted, only a short introduction to
Cultural Properties Preservation (in Japanese only).
Japanese Cultural Properties Preservation Law (in Japanese, on an individual's home page). Construction-related rescue archaeology falls under
Article 57, section 2.
The Environmental Impact Assessment Law of June 1997 (in English)
[also available at ...]
[or in Japanese at... then select "Kankyo Eikyo Hyoka Ho (Heisei 9th Year)"].
Laws, Regulations, and Standards Related to Cultural Resources
This index is also available at ...
National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended
U.S. Code, (16 USC 470 et. seq.) (NHPA)
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended
U.S. Code, (42 USC 4321 et. seq.) (NEPA)
National Register of Historic Places
Code of Federal Regulations, (36 CFR 60)
[also at ...]
Criteria for Evaluation (for inclusion in the National Register)
Code of Federal Regulations, (36 CFR 60.4)
Determinations of Eligibility for Inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places
Code of Federal Regulations, (36 CFR 63)
[also at ...]
Procedures for State, Tribal and Local Government Historic Preservation Programs
Code of Federal Regulations, (36 CFR 61)
Native Americans Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
Code of Federal Regulations, (43 CFR 10) (NAGPRA)
The US Secretary of the Interior's "Professional Qualification Standards" (48 FR 22716)
Select 69.1 for Appendix A with these qualification standards.
The Secretary of the Interior's "Historic Professional Qualification Standards"
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