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UNESCO Chooses Nine New World Heritage Sites in Okinawa

Date Posted: 2000-12-08

Nine historical sites in Okinawa have been chosen as world heritage sites at the UNESCO conference in Australia last Monday. They include Shuri castle, the ruins of Zakimi Castle, Katsuren Castle, Nakaguskuku Castle and the Shikinaen Garden. The castles were built in the 14th century and were the foundation of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which lasted 500 years.

Governor Keiichi Inamine was elated by the news and said “let us, all citizens, celebrate our history and culture”. Nakagusuku village mayor Hajime Kyan said “it’s like winning a prize at the sweepstakes”. Prime Minister Mori also offered his congratulations, saying “I am happy, along with the people of Okinawa.”

Celebrations have already started, with traditional dance and music at the various historical sites. The decision will put Okinawa almost on a par with mainland Japan, which has 10 World Heritage sites, including the famous temple at Nikko.

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