Okinawa Governor Asks for State's Help to Rebuild Fire-Hit Shurijo

Society Politics Culture

Tokyo, Nov. 1 (Jiji Press)--Denny Tamaki, governor of Okinawa Prefecture, asked on Friday for the Japanese government's help in rebuilding Shurijo, a famed castle that was devastated by a fire the previous day.

Tamaki made the request at a meeting with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, held at the prime minister's office in Tokyo. "I'd like to express my deepest sympathy to the people of Okinawa," Suga said. "We will do everything we can, including fiscal measures," to reconstruct the castle in Naha, the capital of the southernmost Japan prefecture, he added.

As the castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is located in a state-managed park, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to back up its reconstruction, taking into account the possibility of earmarking necessary funds under a planned fiscal 2019 supplementary budget.

At a meeting with lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Friday, Abe, who doubles as LDP president, said that the government will make all-out efforts to rebuild the castle. At a press conference later, Suga said, "We will firmly work if budget allocation is necessary."

During the meeting with Suga, Tamaki stressed that the people of Okinawa have been "shocked" by the fire as Shurijo "embodies the soul" of the locals. Tamaki said the Okinawa prefectural government will draw up a plan calling for the rebuilding of the castle by May 2022, when Okinawa marks the 50th anniversary of its reversion from the United States.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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