Photo/IllutrationOkinawa Governor Denny Tamaki, center, attends a ministerial meeting for Shuri-jo castle's restoration at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on Dec. 2. (Takeshi Iwashita)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Work to rebuild Okinawa Prefecture's treasured Shuri-jo castle, including its Seiden main hall, will be based on designs used to reconstruct it after it was destroyed in the 1945 Battle of Okinawa.

Reconstruction of the castle using those designs was completed in 1992, but further work carried on up until the day before the Oct. 31 fire this year that again reduced large areas of the site to ashes.

The decision to use the designs was made at a ministerial meeting on restoring the UNESCO World Heritage site in Naha on Dec. 2.

The castle, which served as a center of politics and culture for the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429-1879), burned down in a fire believed to have been caused by an electrical short.

The government said it will finalize its basic policy on the work before year-end.

It also officially decided to establish an expert panel in the Okinawa General Bureau of Cabinet Office to facilitate assembling building materials and craftsmen for the project.

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki participated in the meeting. A representative from the Okinawa prefectural government will take part in the expert panel.

“We will fully voice the thoughts of the Okinawan people,” Tamaki said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who chaired the meeting, said it was “vital to fully restore Shuri-jo castle based on the policy of the previous restoration.”

Suga also said following the requests of locals, efforts to promote tourism to the site were being considered, including a plan to project a digital-mapping image of Shuri-jo over the construction site once debris has been cleared away.