This is an archived press release
Tuesday 28 September 2004
28 September 2004
East meets West as Peak Park plays host to Japanese minister
Ties between the two most-visited national parks in the world were explored when Japan's environment minister visited the Peak District.
Minister Yuriko Koike was on a fact-finding mission to see some of the premier locations of the Peak District National Park, whose 22 million visitor-days a year are outdone only by Mount Fuji National Park near Tokyo.
Though in England for only one day en route to other engagements in the Middle East, Ms Koike and her delegation had requested to see historic buildings and villages, wild land and conservation projects.
Her whistle-stop tour, organised by the Peak District National Park Authority, encompassed Chatsworth House and Lyme Hall, the wild uplands of Snake Pass and Stanage Edge and the gentler splendour of Dovedale.
National Park chair Tony Hams, chief executive Jim Dixon and senior national park staff hosted a lunch when they discussed common issues of welcoming large numbers of visitors while minimising environmental impact.
The sacred 12,400-foot Mount Fuji suffers pollution problems caused by millions of pilgrims and tourists – conservationists have launched a massive clean-up drive to achieve World Heritage site status.
Afterwards, Tony Hams said: "It was an honour to meet Ms Koike, to introduce her to the splendour of the Peak District and to share experiences of managing our national parks.
"We were particularly interested to explore the possibility of forging formal links between the two most popular national parks in the world."