In September 1992, when Japan signed the World Heritage Convention, many in Hiroshima immediately voiced the opinion that the A-bomb Dome should be registered on the World Heritage List. In response, the Hiroshima City Council adopted the "Opinion Paper Seeking Registration on the World Heritage List for the A-bomb Dome," a request the city then presented to the national government.
Initially, the national government opposed the idea, stating that "The A-bomb Dome is not protected under the domestic Cultural Properties Protection Act, so it lacks a vital prerequisite for nomination as a World Heritage site. Furthermore, it is not old enough to be designated a national cultural asset."
To counter this attitude, citizens groups in June 1993, formed the Committee to Promote the A-bomb Dome as a World Heritage Site (A-bomb Dome Committee) which launched a nationwide signature campaign to petition the Diet to nominate the A-bomb Dome as a World Heritage site. This petition was accepted by the House of Councilors in January 1994 and by the House of Representatives in June. (1,653,996 signatures were collected.)
As a result of this movement, the national government in March 1995 revised the criteria for historic site designation. In June, the Dome received that designation, and in September, Japan formally submitted the nomination to the World Heritage Committee, requesting registration on the World Heritage List. International Council on Monuments and Sites ( ICOMOS) evaluated the nomination, and in December 1996, at the World Heritage Committee Meeting in Mexico, the decision was made to register the A-bomb Dome on the World Heritage List. [registered under the English heading, "Hiroshima Peace Memorial ( Genbaku Dome)" ]