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Shuri Castle fire had minor impact on universal value: Japan

  • January 31, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 3:39 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Jan. 31 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Cultural Affairs Agency has reported to the UNESCO World Heritage Center that fire damage at Shuri Castle in Okinawa Prefecture had a minor impact on its universal value, the agency said Friday.

The agency said that the damage to ruins of the original Shuri Castle, located underneath the fire-destroyed “Seiden” main hall, was only partial, accounting for 0.05 pct of the total area of the ruins.

The ruins are included in the Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu, which are registered as World Heritage sites.

A fire in October last year heavily damaged several buildings, including Seiden, at Shuri Castle in Naha, the capital of the southwestern prefecture. Seiden is not included in the World Heritage list.

It is widely believed that the fire was caused by an electric system problem, the agency reported, adding that there is a plan to reconstruct Seiden.

An agency official said that the preservation of Shuri Castle is likely to be on the agenda at a session of the World Heritage Committee to be held in the Chinese city of Fuzhou around June or July this year.

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