Crown Prince, Princess To Visit Shuri Castle

Crown Prince, Princess to visit Shuri Castle

NHK has learned that Japan's Crown Prince and Princess Akishino will visit Okinawa's Shuri Castle, which was severely damaged in a fire last month.

Sources say the couple will make the visit on December 15 during their two-day tour of the southern prefecture. They will attend an annual event that aims to raise awareness of greenery conservation.

The sources also say the Crown Prince and Princess will view the castle from the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts. The campus commands a view of the main structures.

Aides say the couple feel sympathy for the people of Okinawa, as they have lost an important symbol of their culture and history.

The original castle was built about 500 years ago as the residence of the royal family of the Ryukyu Kingdom. It was destroyed in World War Two and the main building was reconstructed in 1992.

The ruins of the original castle were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000.

Fire department officials have said an electrical fault may have caused the fire on October 31.