Hashima Island, off the coast of Japan, was abandoned in the mid-1970s after the undersea coal mine it serviced closed, and the crumbling ruins doubled as the lair of Bond villain Raoul Silva, played by Spanish actor Javier Bardem in the hit 2012 film.

It has now emerged that the location, often dubbed Battleship Island, which has become a tourist attraction in recent years, has been given protected status by the United Nations for its historical significance.

A statement from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reads, "The site... bears testimony to the rapid industrialisation of the country from the middle of the 19th century to the early 20th century, through the development of the steel industry, shipbuilding and coal mining... The site testifies to what is considered to be the first successful transfer of Western industrialisation to a non-Western nation."