A fundraising campaign was set up by the authorities of Naha, the prefecture's administrative capital, on November 1. The first $1 million was raised in three days. So far, 25,000 people have donated to the campaign, which will last until next spring.
Last week, a large fire erupted in Shuri Castle — which was registered as Japan’s 11th UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000 — destroying much of the castle's structure, including the main building.
The cause of the blaze is still unclear, but according to fire department officials, the fire was unlikely the result of arson.
Later in a day, the NHK broadcaster reported that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a meeting with some ministers on the necessary measures to restore the castle as quickly as possible. During the meeting, ministers reviewed how the castle had been rebuilt after the Second World War.
According to the prime minister, the government also needs to develop measures that will promote local tourism and plans to establish a special group to study how to restore the castle.
The castle was the royal residence during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. The exact year if its construction is unknown. The castle was previously rebuilt by order of the government after it was destroyed during World War II in 1945.