Chairman speech Corner

Necessity of Japan-Korea Tunnel - Japan-Korea Tunnel Oita Prefectural Citizens Conference 2015 General Meeting

The Japan-Korea Tunnel Oita Prefectural Citizens Conference was held in Oita on June 21, 2015, and Chairman Eiji Tokuno gave a lecture.


I will post the contents of the lecture.



Chairman Eiji Tokuno Commemorative Lecture Title: “The Need for a Japan-Korea Tunnel”
Japan-Korea Tunnel Oita Prefectural Citizens Conference
2015 General Meeting June 21, 2015 Rembrandt Hotel Oita


Given the international situation, I believe that there is an urgent need to improve Korea-Japan relations. Thanks to Prime Minister Abe's efforts, Japan-U.S. relations have reached a near honeymoon stage. We have now graduated from the empty stage where former Prime Minister Hatoyama said, ``Trust him, me.'' America now trusts Prime Minister Abe.

Therefore, there are no problems with Japan-US relations. The problem is Korea-Japan relations. Prime Minister Abe and President Park Geun-hye have not yet had a personal meeting. This is very worrying.


Therefore, I would like to present to you five measures to improve Korea-Japan relations.

First, we need to increase interaction.

This is the activation of general exchanges such as so-called private exchanges, cultural exchanges, and trade and tourism. This includes parliamentary diplomacy. I would like all prefectural assembly members and city council members to form sister-blood relationships with Korean cities. Who is Oita related to? Is it Mokpo or Daegu? It is important to further invigorate this kind of sisterhood and to have exchanges at the parliamentary diplomacy and administrative levels. We will revive tourism, culture and general exchange. This is very important.


The second is mutual cooperation in the Olympics.

We co-hosted the 2002 World Cup, which was a great success. It's not that Japan and Korea can't get along. In 2002, Japan-Korea relations were good. The Pyeongchang Olympics will be held in 2018 as a reminder of this. Mao Asada has finally decided to continue her career. I would like to applaud Mao here. If Mao-chan's appearance is an opportunity for Kim Yuna to appear again, this will be a big hit.

Japan will support the Pyeongchang Olympics. In return, Korea will fully support the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which will be held two years from now, and will make both the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the Tokyo Summer Olympics a success.If we can do this, the atmosphere will be much better in 2020. That is my imagination and my expectations. I am convinced that mutual cooperation in the Olympics is important.


The third is international marriage.

No matter how much Japan and South Korea try to get along better, the strong ties between them are usually blood ties. Korean young people and Japanese young people will become relatives through some form of international marriage and by having common grandchildren. This is the simplest, yet strongest bond. It's hard to feel like going to war with such a country if you become a relative of that country. I think it would be better if international marriages between Korea and Japan increase naturally, instead of just watching Korean dramas and shedding tears.What do you think?


The fourth issue is a very sensitive one, but it is important to understand the differences in each other's positions.

I lived in Korea for about a year, so I understand how Korean people feel. We Japanese people tend to think, ``Why can't Koreans forget about the past and focus on the future?We're just fixated on the past.''

If we accept the fact that the Japanese ruled the country as a fact, from the Korean perspective, the Japanese are the perpetrators. Koreans are victims. It is difficult for Japanese people to understand the difference between the positions of victims and perpetrators.

Koreans always say, ``Why do Japanese people so easily throw away the past and talk about being future-oriented, but why can't Koreans do the same?'', but they don't understand our feelings. . If we bring up the past, the Japan-Korea issue will not be resolved. If we bring up the textbook issue, the comfort women issue, and the Takeshima issue, it will become a quagmire.

However, we will not be able to reach the Korean people unless we understand the world of feelings and emotions of the Korean people who are in the position of the victims, and appeal to them from that standpoint to be future-oriented. We must take into consideration the difference in position. We think this is important. I believe that if we can do this, Japan-Korea relations will be able to move towards a future-oriented relationship in the truest sense.


The last stop is the Japan-Korea Tunnel.

There is nothing easier to understand than the Japan-Korea Tunnel. They will be connected by the road. There is no major project to unify Japan and Korea that is as easy to understand as this one. When connected by roads, people, goods, and culture can come and go. After all, the main artery of distribution is the road. In that sense, the creation of the Japan-Korea tunnel can be seen as a significant and decisive opportunity to improve the Japan-Korea issue.


Now, what should we do to make the Japan-Korea tunnel a reality? Two major requirements for realizing the Japan-Korea tunnel.

The first issue will be difficult without the support of public opinion in South Korea and Japan. The other day, Korean local politicians gathered at the House of Representatives building, and I gave a lecture. After Dr. Nozawa, the chairman of the Japan-Korea Tunnel Study Group, gave a speech, many people expressed their interest in realizing the Japan-Korea Tunnel. When I told them that I think they were hoping for this, a local South Korean lawmaker raised his hand and said, ``That's Japan's side of the story, and while there are some people in South Korea who support it, there are still people who oppose it.The reason. "There are still Koreans who worry that Japan will invade Japan through the Japan-Korea Tunnel."

Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to raise public opinion, that is, to raise public opinion among the Japanese and Korean people that a tunnel is necessary, that we should build one, and that Japan and South Korea should become one. To that end, it is necessary to deepen ties through the five measures I mentioned earlier.


The other thing is, of course, the top-level meeting. Eurotunnel also had its twists and turns. In fact, the concept of a Eurotunnel began during Napoleon's time, and there has been talk of an Anglo-French tunnel since the 1800s. Eurotunnel was a dream tunnel with a history of 200 years. Ultimately, Thatcher and Mitterrand reached an agreement in Canterbury in 1986. The tunnel was then completed in 1990. Four years later, in 1994, the Eurostar train started passing through the area. It took eight years to complete the Anglo-French tunnel. The distance is 51 kilometers.


What is noteworthy is that the Japan-Korea tunnel and the UK-France tunnel are very similar. It means crossing borders. It is a diplomatic issue. It is different from Seikan Tunnel. When it came to foreign affairs, Thatcher apparently made this decision at the time. "Abandon glorious isolation." And we will never fight or go to war with France again. Once we had that final confirmation, we came to a decision. Britain and France were also countries that fought the Hundred Years' War. Europe has been at war with Britain and France, France and Germany, and Britain and Germany.

What ultimately led to the Eurotunnel in the course of a series of wars was the idea of ​​not going to war and abandoning war. It was because of this decision that we reached the Canterbury agreement. In other words, the Japan-Korea tunnel is not ultimately about technology. Technically, I have heard many times from engineers that there will be no problems if we use the technology that Japan already has, such as the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line, the Honshu Bridge, the Seto Ohashi Bridge, and the Seikan Tunnel. Technically there is no problem. The budget is also 10 trillion yen. You can do it if you have 10 trillion yen. The construction period is 10 years. Many people say it can be done with the technology that Japan and South Korea currently have. 10 years. For those of you who will be here in 10 years, there is hope. You can see it with your dark eyes. I hope you live at least 10 years. If you live 10 years, you will be able to see the Japan-Korea tunnel with your own eyes.


The biggest problem is the emotional one. As with the Anglo-French tunnel, if Thatcher and Mitterrand come to an agreement that Britain and France will never fight again, the green light will be given immediately. Unless public opinion in South Korea and Japan and a top-level meeting between President Park and Prime Minister Abe take place, the green light will never be given. Foreign affairs. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Korea is coming to Japan today. Tomorrow, June 22nd, marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea in 1965. Tomorrow is that memorable day.

One day before that memorable day, a lecture on the Japan-Korea tunnel was held in Oita. Oita will usher in a new era for Japan and Korea. It is very significant that the tunnel lecture was held on this day, as such an interpretation holds true. I have a lot of Korean friends, and when it comes to hot springs, Beppu is the place to go, and even within Beppu, Jigoku Onsen seems to be the best. Apparently there are many rumors that you should definitely go there. The other is Yufuin. Hell tour and Yufuin. They say it's famous in Korea.


Technically, it is possible because we have experience in the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line, the Honshu Bridge, the Seto Ohashi Bridge, and the Seikan Tunnel. Second, regarding the construction period, with the current technological capabilities of Japan and South Korea, it would take 10 years. The cost is 10 trillion yen. The route that the engineer is currently talking about is from Karatsu to Iki, Tsushima, Geoje Island, and Busan. The total length is 270 km, the core part is 235 km, and the underground distance is 150 km. The most difficult route is from Tsushima to Geoje Island, where it is the deepest and has the fastest current. If we can overcome this problem successfully, a Japan-Korea tunnel is technically possible. The cost of 10 trillion yen will be paid by Japan until Tsushima.

The fare from Tsushima to Geoje Island is split. Half half. The route from Geoje Island to Busan will be sent to South Korea. In that case, Japan will pay 70% of the cost. If this is the case, South Korea will be fully satisfied. A 600 meter tunnel has already been dug in Karatsu. All investigations have been completed. All that is left now is for the government to take up the technology and concrete plans we have accumulated and give the go-ahead. As you know, successive prime ministers and presidents have mentioned it. On the South Korean side, President Roh Tae-woo mentioned the Japan-Korea Tunnel in his speech to the National Assembly when he visited Japan. President Kim Dae-jung has already mentioned that the Japan-Korea tunnel is an interesting project and that if Japan and South Korea are connected, it will be connected to Europe through Siberia. President Roh Moo-hyun also proposed a Japan-Korea tunnel at the Japan-Korea summit meeting in February 2003.


I would like to conclude. The Japan-Korea Tunnel will be implemented in 2020, if top-level talks come to fruition and an agreement similar to the Canterbury Agreement between Mitterrand and Thatcher is reached, in which Japan will support the Pyeongchang Olympics, South Korea will support the Tokyo Olympics, and Japan will support the World Cup. If there is a good atmosphere between Japan and South Korea after the Olympics, just as there was a good atmosphere between Korea and South Korea, an agreement between the president and the prime minister could be reached in 2020-2021, such as a Tokyo agreement like the Canterbury Accord, or a Seoul agreement. It would not be a dream if it could come true.

As I mentioned earlier, the tunnel itself will be ready in 10 years at the earliest. The linear Shinkansen will reach Nagoya by 2027, and Osaka in 1 hour in 4-5 years. 67 minutes to be exact. Further on to Hiroshima and finally to Karatsu. I think it will take some time. If the linear Shinkansen is realized at the same speed as the current Shinkansen, I predict that the linear Shinkansen will reach around Fukuoka around 2040.


An undersea tunnel between Japan and South Korea will be completed between 2020 and 2030, and a linear Shinkansen will run from Busan to Seoul. Supported by Japan. The most optimistic prediction is that in 2040, a 500 km linear Shinkansen train will take you from Seoul to Tokyo in 4 hours. There is no need to fly, no need to go to Incheon Airport or Gimpo Airport, and no waiting time. You can go to Seoul while taking a nap for 4 hours. It will take at least until 2040. Let's start exercising tomorrow. If everyone gathered here takes care of their health and lives another 25 years, the dream-like Japan-Korea tunnel and the linear Shinkansen from Seoul to Tokyo may become possible. I would like to end my lecture by telling you about my dream of being able to experience the Japan-Korea Tunnel and Seoul-Tokyo tour with a black eye.


Excerpts from the lecture can be downloaded in PDF format.

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