Summary of the governor’s remarks at the scheduled briefing on July 31

The Shuri Castle Recovery and Restoration Task Force meeting was held by the Chair, the Governor of Okinawa, on January 31, 2022; 1) collection of donations under the existing scheme (contributions and donations towards the restoration of Shuri Castle from the fire, and the restoration project) (March 31, 2022) to be closed at the end of FY 2021, and 2) establishment of a new foundation to start in FY 2022 (April 1, 2022) were decided.
 

Ⅰ.Handling donations and contributions under the existing scheme (contributions and donations towards the restoration of Shuri Castle from the fire, and the restoration project)

 To those who contributed to the project

〇 Since the Shuri Castle fire on October 31, 2019, we have been receiving constant messages of hope for restoration, thoughts towards Shuri Castle and Okinawa, and encouragement from many people.

〇 For this Shuri Castle restoration project in the Reiwa Era, people of all ages, both from inside and outside of the prefecture, have been voluntarily supporting the restoration through fundraising activities, organization of symposia, and other initiatives.

〇 These forms of support and messages are a great help to people who wish for the swift recovery of Shuri Castle, and it has become a driving force for the restoration. Once again, thank you for your support and generosity in helping the project.

  

 2) Closing of the contributions and donations towards restoration of Shuri Castle from the fire, and the restoration project (as of March 31, 2022)

〇 The restoration of the main hall is scheduled to start in Fiscal Year 2022. The Shuri Castle Restoration Project has reached the first milestone, and the new phase of the project is about to start.

〇 In light of this situation, it was decided in the Shuri Castle Recovery and Restoration Task Force meeting (Jan. 31, 2022) that collection of “contributions and donations towards restoration of Shuri Castle from the fire, and the restoration project,”which was set up to help rebuild Shuri Castle main hall and other facilities in the castle ground destroyed during the fire, was going to close on March 31, 2022.

3) How to use donations and contributions received by March 31, 2022

〇 As of the end of December 2021, the amount donated under the present scheme (contributions and donations towards the restoration of Shuri Castle from the fire, and the restoration project), which will become the Okinawa Prefecture Shuri Castle Restoration Funds, is about 5.483 billion yen.

〇 In order to realize the wish of people who have contributed to the project, Okinawa Prefectural Government will utilize the funds to restore the facilities of Shuri Castle, which was destroyed by fire, in accordance with the “Policy for Okinawa Prefecture Shuri Castle Restoration Funds” (established July 30, 2020). It has been decided that the funds will be utilized to cover the production and procurement of the following:

 

〇 The contributions collected by March 31, 2022 will be transferred to the Okinawa Shuri Restoration Funds, and will be used for restoration of other facilities lost in the fire such as Hokuden (north hall) and Nanden (south hall) in cooperation with the national government.

Ⅱ.New donations and establishing a new foundation to take over

 1)Establishment of the Shuri Castle History and Culture Foundation (tentative)

〇 Even now, the restoration of Shuri Castle attracts a lot of attention, and we have received various suggestions and requests from many people.

〇 In particular, we have received strong requests from many people including local organizations and companies for long-term efforts to develop human resources for traditional techniques and the urban planning of historical Shuri. We have also received requests to use the funds for executing such projects.

〇 In addition to restoring buildings that were destroyed by the fire, the Okinawa Prefectural Government has made it its policy to restore historical and cultural elements symbolized by Shuri Castle. So, the Core Principles for the Shuri Castle Restoration Project established in 2020 allows us to promote such plans in cooperation with various entities.

〇 Therefore, in order to hear suggestions regarding the Shuri Castle restoration project and cooperate and work with those who have passion towards the restoration, Okinawa Prefectural Government will establish the new foundation, “Okinawa Prefecture Shuri Castle History and Culture Foundation (tentative)” (also known as: Shuri Castle Future Foundation) to collect donations to allow us to follow our measures.

 2)How to utilize the Shuri Castle History and Culture Foundation

〇 These new funds will be used for the following two projects with the purpose of passing down the unique history and culture symbolized by Shuri Castle.

1) Human resources development project for activities related to acquiring skills for traditional buildings
Example: training special carpenters for historical buildings, sculptors for recreating decorative items, and painters for applying colors in a traditional way.
  
 

2) Project for recreating historical spaces in the ancient city of Shuri
Example: establishing Nakagusuku Udun (Nakagusuku Palace), repairing castle walls, and promoting urban planning based on the New Historical Shuri Project

〇 This foundation that accepts new donations will be used even after the restoration is completed in order to pass on Shuri Castle into the future. We would like to utilize the contributions from those who are passionate about this project and to work together as a form of cooperation and collaboration.

3) Policy and schedule of the project from now onwards

〇 We will propose an ordinance on the establishment of the Shuri Castle History and Culture Foundation to the prefectural assembly in February 2021.

〇 We will start collecting new donations from April 1, 2022 if/when an ordinance is established after the prefectural assembly discusses the matter.

〇 Fiscal year 2022 will mark various milestones, including the 50th anniversary of Okinawa’s reversion to Japan, the start of the new Okinawa Promotion Plan, and the launch of Shuri Castle main hall reconstruction. By establishing a new foundation, we will strengthen our efforts to pass on the history and culture symbolized by Shuri Castle to the future by developing human resources and creating new spaces for use even after the restoration.

〇 We ask for continued understanding, cooperation, and support for the Shuri Castle restoration project from Okinawans as well as from people inside and outside of the country.