Notre Dame Fire Heightens Vigilance at Historical Sites in Japan

Politics Culture Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 22 (Jiji Press)--The fire that destroyed the spire of France's Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday has heightened vigilance among officials in charge of protecting historical buildings in Japan.

Not viewing the fire at the UNESCO World Heritage site as a somebody else's problem, they have scrambled to check whether current fire prevention measures are working properly.

The day after the fire in Paris, the fire department of the city of Nara in the namesake prefecture of western Japan, where Todaiji temple and other large historical buildings are located, called on some 80 shrines and temples to strengthen their fire prevention systems.

"Staff at shrines and temples are aging," said Koji Nakanishi, 59-year-old chief of the fire department's fire prevention department. "Their challenge is to deploy younger staff (in fire prevention posts)."

Shokaku Furuya, 70-year-old head manager of Buddhist temple Horyuji said he had instructed temple staff to ensure that they are well prepared for preventing fires.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press