The main building of an Okinawa castle listed as a World Heritage site has burned down in a predawn fire, with authorities working to control the blaze that has also engulfed other buildings in the castle complex, police said, Kyodo reports.
The fire started shortly before 2:40 a.m. at Shuri Castle in Naha, the prefectural capital of Okinawa. More than 10 fire engines have been dispatched, though there were no immediate reports of injuries, the police and a local fire department said.
The police are looking into the cause of the fire.
The ancient castle is a major tourist spot in the southwestern Japan prefecture. It dates from and represents the Ryukyu Kingdom, which spanned 450 years until Okinawa was integrated into Japan in 1879.
Although the castle was left in ruins in the wake of fierce ground battles with U.S. forces in 1945, it was restored and opened as a national park in 1992.
The castle was registered as Japan's 11th World Heritage site in December 2000, according to the park operator.
Source: Kazinform News Agency
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