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Okinawan cultural sites to get aknowledgement

Date Posted: 1998-02-14

Ryukyu Kingdom's Shuri Castle and other important cultural monuments on Okinawa will soon be registered to 'The International Monument Registry.' It is a registry of monuments and historical sites which have excellent cultural significance or have value in protecting nature.

The process has already begun for Shuri Castle and the paperwork has been submitted to make the castle and its grounds a World Historical Monument. Official registration is slated for December 2000.

Representatives from the Japanese government and prefectures have applied to be included in the International Monument Registry as committee members in 1999 and if accepted, they will have the responsibility to vote on those sights officially registered in the year 2000.

According to the Okinawa Prefecture Board of Education, once Okinawan sites are included in the registry, the island's culture will be better known to the rest of the world and Okinawans can better take pride in their island.

The Board began the paperwork process in 1994 and the initial target date was 1997, but due to strict restrictions set by the committee, Shuri Castle had to undergo some cleaning and sprucing up. Construction has begun around the areas neighboring Shuri Castle and its grounds to improve the surrounding community, hopefully making Shuri Castle more attractive to the International Monument Committee.

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