Okinawa Sets Up Panel To Assist Castle Restoration

Okinawa sets up panel to assist castle restoration

Japan's southern prefecture of Okinawa has decided to set up a panel of experts and government officials to promote prefecture-wide efforts to restore the Shuri Castle.

Okinawa officials say the make-up of the panel has yet to be determined, but they are thinking of including experts who were involved in the previous restoration of the castle.

The structures that burned down in the fire last Thursday were reconstructions of the original castle built about 500 years ago by the Ryukyu Kingdom.

The castle was destroyed in World War Two. The main hall was reconstructed in 1992 and other structures were also rebuilt.

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki has said he aims to draw up a reconstruction plan for the castle by 2022, which will mark the 50th anniversary of Okinawa's return to Japanese rule from US administration.

Okinawa Prefecture has also decided to establish a dedicated team, under the direct control of the governor, to draw up a timetable for restoring the castle and to engage in coordination with the central government.