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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 30 - November 5  > Okinawa-elected opposition party lawmakers urge gov’t to work to restore World Heritage site of Shurijo Castle
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2019 October 30 - November 5 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Okinawa-elected opposition party lawmakers urge gov’t to work to restore World Heritage site of Shurijo Castle

November 1, 2019

A fire on October 31 destroyed Shurijo Castle, an important historical site in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture.

Shurijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000, was the royal palace in the time of the Ryukyu Kingdom (15-19th Century). It was designated as a national treasure in the prewar period but ruined in the Battle of Okinawa in the last stages of WWII. The recently burnt buildings were replicas built in 1992.

In response to the news of the fire, Japanese Communist Party parliamentarian Akamine Seiken and four other Okinawa-elected opposition party Dietmembers on the same day submitted to the Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs a petition calling for the early restoration of the buildings.

The petition points out that Shurijo Castle is the crystallization of the culture and history of the Ryukyu Kingdom and that it has provided emotional support for Okinawans as a symbol of Okinawa’s development after its reversion to Japan. Saying that the loss of Shurijo Castle will deliver a heavy blow to the prefecture’s tourism industry, the petition demands that the Abe government take all possible measures to restore the destroyed buildings based on requests from Naha City and the prefecture.

The group of Okinawa-elected opposition lawmakers plans to call on Okinawa-elected Liberal Democratic Party parliamentarians to make a similar petition together to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo next week.
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