Japanese forest, with its green hills, pine forests and stunning views, is home to one of the most breathtaking natural scenes in the world.
It’s also home to the largest number of endangered species in the entire world, with more than 6,000 of the animals listed as vulnerable to extinction.
This has been a subject of intense debate for the past 40 years, with Japanese leaders often casting their sights on the protected area.
But now, after a decade of intensive conservation efforts, the forest has seen a marked reduction in the number of threatened animals, and the number being killed by humans.
“Japanese forests are home to over 300 species of wildlife, including rare and endangered species, which are protected by law,” said the Japanese government.
“In the last 40 years we’ve invested over 200 million yen ($24.8 million) into conservation measures, with a commitment to keep the area pristine and protected for future generations.”
Japanese forests have been a key part of Japanese society for generations, and now there is a strong sense of belonging.
“There is a sense of history here and people want to keep that history alive,” said Kenji Fukuda, a researcher at the University of Tsukuba.
“It’s important to preserve it.”
But some are concerned about the future.
“The Japanese government needs to protect the forest for future years.
This is the first time we have seen a reduction in numbers of the species that are listed as endangered,” said Takashi Nishida, a lecturer in wildlife conservation at the Tokyo University of Science and Technology.”
If the Japanese Government is going to do it, they need to do so by prioritising conservation, not by focusing on individual trees.”
But Japanese forests are not only a place to watch wildlife, they are also a place for the people who live there.
“People can’t afford to leave,” said Toshiyuki Ikeda, a Japanese conservationist.
“And people are really keen to get out there and visit it, because they enjoy it.”
It is one of those things you could spend hours in, but you don’t want to miss out on, he added.
For a while, the area was completely deserted.
“When we were in the forests we would see people who had come from all over the country.
We would see a few people, but not a lot,” he said.”
Now it’s a very busy area, but it’s still really beautiful.”
For some Japanese, the forests are a source of pride.
“I think the Japanese people are very happy about this,” said Yoshiharu Ikedishi, a former wildlife biologist.
“As a conservationist, it’s the most important thing that I have.
It’s very exciting.”