A Japanese island famous for its UNESCO World Heritage shrine will be closed to tourists for three days in May to make way for a potential visit by leaders of the Group of Seven nations during their summit in Hiroshima, according to the local municipality.
Miyajima Island, home to Itsukushima Shrine and its gigantic torii gate in the Seto Inland Sea, will be shut between noon on May 18 and 2 p.m. on May 20. Only those issued an identification card by the Foreign Ministry will be allowed entry during the period, according to Hatsukaichi city.
The G-7 summit, slated to be held for three days from May 19, will be hosted by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who represents a constituency in Hiroshima Prefecture. Japan is also considering having the leaders visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
Meanwhile, residents of the island, couriers and commuters will be issued identification cards to present upon landing. The city said it is also considering decreasing the frequency of ferries connecting the island to the mainland and may ask stores to close for the period.
Known as one of Japan's three most scenic places, Itsukushima Shrine was registered by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a World Cultural Heritage site in 1996.
Prefectural police have requested residents and businesses to reduce traffic by 50 percent in the Hiroshima city center between May 18 and May 22, during which it is expected to be congested due to safety restrictions.
Trams and buses in the city will also be canceling or revising its operating hours to those used for the weekend.
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