Okinawa Residents Aghast at Burning Shurijo Castle


Naha, Okinawa Pref., Oct. 31 (Jiji Press)--Local residents watched aghast as a blaze was destroying the Shurijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, early Thursday morning.

"I started to watch after I heard the sound of a siren," Ran Sakamoto, a 24 year-old graduate school student living nearby, said. "Thirty minutes later, smoke suddenly rose, and I realized this was a huge deal."

A 50-year-old corporate worker came to examine the situation after hearing many sirens around 2:30 a.m. (5:30 p.m. Wednesday GMT).

"The Shurijo Castle was spectacular to view, and it was always there," she said. "It's so shocking. I can't stop my tears."

"I came out because I was advised to evacuate," Chingen Kinjo, 68, said, adding that the castle "is important for people in Okinawa. I am sad."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press