Taiwan donates to Okinawa, optimistic on timber sourcing for Shuri Castle

Taiwan donates to Okinawa, optimistic on timber sourcing for Shuri Castle

Fan Chen-Kuo, Taiwan’s representative to Naha (fourth from left) and Mitsuteru Harimoto, president of the Ryukyu Overseas Chinese Association (second from left) presenting Governor Denny Tamaki (center) with donations to help rebuild Shuri Castle, on December 19 at the prefectural office.

December 20, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

On December 19, Fan Chen-Kuo, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative to Japan in Naha, visited the Okinawan prefectural government office to present Governor Denny Tamaki with a donation to rebuild Shuri Castle, which had burned down in a recent fire.

While addressing the reporters, Fan took an optimistic stance on the use of the Taiwan Cypress in the Shuri Castle reconstruction: “We think reconstructing [Shuri Castle] is meaningful.

I believe Taiwan will consider any official requests made by the Japanese government or the prefecture of Okinawa.”

The Taiwan Cypress was used in the last Shuri Castle reconstruction work and is hoped to be sourced again, but currently, its logging is banned.

Fan commented, “At the time of the previous reconstruction, Taiwan’s [cypress] ban was already in place.

There are possible [workarounds].” He added, “In my personal view, some commercial enterprises may have stocks of the wood, and the Taiwanese government also has an inventory of collected full-grown cypress driftwood. They may be an option.”

Fan presented Governor Tamaki with a donation of 1 million Taiwanese dollars (about 3.5 million yen) on behalf of the Taiwanese government.

The Ryukyu Overseas Chinese Association (Ryukyu Kakyo Soukai, a group composed of Taiwanese citizens living in Okinawa) also donated 2 million yen, which was presented by its president, Mitsuteru Harimoto.

The governor expressed his gratitude: “I am touched by the warm support. We will work swiftly to rebuild and restore [Shuri Castle].”

(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)

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