Blaze Virtually Destroys Okinawa's World Heritage-Listed Shuri Castle

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Residents close to the fort have been being evacuated from the world after the flames broke out, reviews mentioned.

Footage on NHK television showed parts of the castle, engulfed in orange flames and turning into charred skeleton, collapsing to the ground.

Shuri-jo castle served as a symbol illustrating Okinawa's cultural diversity and history, which were vastly different from those of mainland Japan. Some people were crying. "My heart is broken", he said.

She also said she feels sorry for the tourists who had been looking forward to visiting the castle. In addition to the main hall, the northern hall (Hokuden) and the southern hall (Nanden) are completely destroyed. The castle, built about 500 years ago by the Ryukyu Dynasty, was designated Japan's national treasure in 1933. This photo was taken in October 2019.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that the government would do its utmost to help restore the castle after Thursday's fire.

Almost a dozen fire engines were dispatched to the scene, Kyodo news agency said, with unconfirmed reports suggesting other buildings in the complex may also have caught fire.

In addition to the main hall, the north and south halls have been destroyed, NHK said.

Shuri Castle on Fire. The reconstructed castle was finished in 1992, when it was declared a national park.

The reconstructed main hall of the Shuri castle in particular is praised as "a great monument symbolising the pride of the Ryukyu people".

Japan is dotted with historic castle complexes, most of which are careful reconstructions of original buildings.

"This is a loss for all humanity", tweeted UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay, expressing "deep emotion and honest solidarity with the Japanese people". "Deep emotion and honest solidarity with the Japanese people as we see the tragic fire at the attractive #shuricastle", she wrote on her Twitter account.

Okinawa remained under United States occupation until 1972, two decades after the rest of Japan regained full independence.

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