World Heritage Okinawa castle on fire

World Heritage Okinawa castle on fire

World Heritage Okinawa castle on fire

The Shuri Palace, which is part of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, has burned nearly completely in a big fire that broke out that night, world agencies have reported. It was as majorly destroyed during World War II, but in 1992, it reopened as a national park after it went through restoration. There are now no reports of any injuries, but local authorities have temporarily evacuated more than 30 residents nearby.

The castle ruins, excluding the restored buildings, were registered as Japan's 11th UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, along with ancient monuments in the island prefecture.

Shuri Castle is a symbol of Okinawa's cultural heritage from the time of the Ryukyu Kingdom that spanned about 450 years from 1429 until 1879.

The fire tore through the castle in the middle of its annual mid-autumn festival. Local firefighters suspect that the fire started in the Seiden hall, but they are still investigating the causes. "Team Kadena is shocked and saddened by the fire at Shuri Castle, which is the symbol of Okinawa", the email stated.

Remnants of the original castle have also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The police, cited by the NHK broadcaster, said that the main hall and a nearby building had burned to the ground, while another nearby building had also caught fire.

"Naha city will make our greatest possible efforts to do everything in our power" to deal with the fire and its aftermath, she pledged earlier, during an emergency meeting on the fire.

During the July 2000 summit of the Group of Eight major economies in Okinawa, leaders had dinner in the castle's north hall.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that the central government will do its utmost to reconstruct the castle. "Shuri Castle is not just about buildings but it reconstructed all the details, even including equipment inside".

The Ryukyu Kingdom was a seafaring state that not only established exchanges with Japan and China but also built a maritime trading network that extended to Southeast Asia.

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