Peace Roadmonthly magazine

Korea should also create a "Korea-Japan Tunnel Promotion Committee"

22nd Peace Road Forum Special Lecture

Korea should also create a "Korea-Japan Tunnel Promotion Committee"


Hiroshi Mizohata, former Japan Tourism Agency Secretary emphasizes



Former Japan Tourism Agency Secretary Hiroshi Mizohata gives a special lecture at JS Marriott Hotel in Banpo-dong, Seoul

Thank you for visiting us during your busy schedule.This is my 89th visit to Korea today.My most trusted and respected friend, Hwangbo Kwan (Director of Technical Education Office, Korea Football Association) is also here.Hwangbo Kwan and I met in Seoul in 1995 and cooperated in the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup and the establishment of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.

He held a soccer tournament in Oita Prefecture, Japan, and worked together until he won the championship, building a brother-in-law relationship that connects Korea and Japan.I have worked with Korean people a lot and received support, so I am always grateful and respectful of Korean people.I like national anthems, so I'll start by singing them first. (It was a little traceable, but I sang the first of the national anthems to the end)


Japan-Korea Tunnel is Korea's largest business

I was born in Kyoto.After graduating from the University of Tokyo, I joined the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications with the desire to help the development of Japan and started working as a civil servant.When I was in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, I introduced an indirect tax and achieved good results.I also went to Europe for a while.Now, it has become a new goal of my life to enable the three Northeast Asian countries of South Korea, China and Japan to interact closely and achieve mutual peace and prosperity.


I would like to talk about the importance of the Japan-Korea Tunnel.The Seikan Tunnel opened between Hokkaido and Aomori when I went to Hokkaido.In the position of deciding how to draw the boundary between Hokkaido and Aomori, both local governments were very sensitive about how to tax taxes.There was controversy because the length of the border is related to taxes. After four months of heated debate, they changed their attitude to respect each other.The exchange plan between Hokkaido and Aomori was widely discussed, and the Shinkansen connecting the two regions was opened, and the Seikan Tunnel became the main artery for both sides.At that time, I realized how much the opening of the undersea tunnel would contribute to regional exchanges.


After that, when I went to Oita prefecture, I came up with the idea of ​​connecting Oita prefecture and Ehime prefecture, and I was in charge of this as well.The project was to connect Kyushu and Shikoku with a bridge, but sports, culture, and economic exchange followed.What I felt most strongly at this time was that we had to connect Kyushu and South Korea.It was when I went to Oita that my feelings became even stronger.

As the person in charge of Oita Prefecture, I had to think about how to utilize the tournament for the 2002 Japan-Korea World Cup.At that time, South Korea and Japan were in a competitive relationship.I thought about creating a professional soccer team in Oita prefecture, and if I could create a soccer field and attract 3 tourists from South Korea, the economy would be revitalized.If the Japan-Korea Tunnel opens, exchanges between Japan and South Korea will become more active and it will be easier to attract Korean tourists.


Before discussing the Japan-Korea Tunnel further, I would like to talk a little about my Korean friend, Hwangbo Kwan.Prior to the Japan-Korea World Cup tournament, we rebuilt the baseball stadium and created a soccer stadium in the absence of anything, and met and negotiated with various people.It was my daily routine to meet the people involved from early morning to late night.One must have a big dream.

And don't give up that dream.In particular, leaders must sweat XNUMX times more than humans to realize their dreams.I worked thinking that I could climb to the top of Japan as much as I could.At that time, I met with Mun Jong-sik, Vice Chairman of the Korea Football Association, and received a lot of support.


I have liked soccer since I was little.Since I was in Europe, I have been supporting European soccer teams and often went to see soccer competitions.As I still remember vividly, Japan lost 1976-3 in the Japan-Korea soccer match at the National Stadium in 0.There are some tall players in Korea, and I thought that Japan couldn't beat Korea in terms of skill.At that time, Korean soccer was very impressive.


Therefore, when forming a soccer team in Oita prefecture, I visited South Korea, which is closer to Japan than the Brazilian and Dutch teams, and asked for their cooperation.At that time, Korea and Japan were becoming more competitive with the World Cup on the horizon.Even if Japan loses in the World Cup, there may be days when we will cooperate with each other, so I don't think we should be obsessed with the feelings of Korea and Japan.That's why we started to create a soccer team with the cooperation of the Korea Football Association.


Vice Chairman Mun Jong-sik has been indebted to me in many ways.When I went to Italy, where my parents are, and turned on the TV, Spain and South Korea were playing against each other.At that time, there was a Korean player who played an inexhaustible role in the field and scored a wonderful goal.This is Hwangbo Kwan where he is right here.

In the 90's, Japan always dropped out in the World Cup qualifiers, but South Korea always broke through.Players like Hwangbo Kwan complemented Korean football. Even in 95, Japan was weak.When I asked Vice Chairman Mun Jong-sik to bring Hwangbo Kwan, he was willing to introduce me.


Finally, on December 1995, 12, I met Korean superstar Hwangbo Kwan at a hotel in Seoul.I was not afraid to suggest to Hwangbo Kwan to create a team that represents Asia.Frankly speaking, the team to be created was in a difficult situation with poor finances and no soccer stadium.Hwangbo Kwan was happy to come to Oita without any interests.The following year, he formed the Oita soccer team, and in 23, he decided to make the World Cup a success.


Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University is the first international university in Japan, and we were able to create this university with the cooperation of Mr. John Monjun, Honorary President of Ulsan University.In the process of creating Oita Trinita, friendship was created with the cooperation of many people from the Korean government, politics, and the business community.Sports exchanges between Korea and Japan have made great progress since then.


It was a good experience for me.At that time, I often visited Korea in connection with the Japan-Korea World Cup.I learned that Korea has a good culture nationwide and that Japan has many cultures to learn, and I learned a lot after that.I was also very impressed with the excellent Korean food culture such as nutrition, balance and fermentation.Above all, I was impressed by the humanity of Koreans and their respect for the elderly.During difficult and difficult times, we received the cooperation and support of many Korean people, including Hwangbo Kwan.I look bright, but I have had a difficult time with my hair falling out and divorcing.At that time, the person who helped and supported me was Hwangbo Kwan, and many Koreans.


At the time of the 2002 World Cup, I wanted to promote Japan to the world.Now that 14 years have passed since the World Cup was successfully completed and it became the bridgehead of Korean and Japanese soccer, Korean and Japanese soccer have climbed to the top of Asia.


I made an appointment with the Korean Football Association when I founded Oita Trinita.He said that if he wins in Japan, he will go to Korea with a victory cup, but in 2008 that dream came true.And as promised, I visited Korea with a victory cup.Unfortunately, the following year, in 2009, our team was at the bottom and felt like we had fallen from heaven to hell.I was very exhausted both mentally and physically, and I was reprimanded by many people.After that, he resigned as the leader of the team and became the Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency in 2010 after receiving a resignation to return to government official duties.Having lived in Oita prefecture for a long time and being involved in many projects related to the World Cup, I was appointed again with the feeling that Japan should promote it to the world.


I think there are five things that Japan is proud of.One of them is beautiful nature.In Japan, 5% of the land is forest, so it is comfortable and clean.This is also related to health and longevity.Japan is the longest-lived country in the world.We have the technology to make things well from long ago.I think Japan has the technological capabilities to take control of the world.If you discover this, refine it, and expand into the world, you can revitalize the development of each region and energize Japan as a whole.


I have long argued that Japan, China and South Korea should increase their exchange population with each other. According to some data from Japan in 2014, the exchange population of the three countries of Korea, China and Japan is steadily increasing.A meeting with the Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency was also held in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do.During the meeting, Pyeongchang made bibimbap for 3 people and the visitors ate together.

I am especially grateful to the Korean people for the fact that the victims were very exhausted at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, but the Korean people rushed in and provided a lot of assistance earlier than anywhere else.Travel officials sent tourists to Japan to help.I am still grateful.I think that the Japanese people who received the most cooperation during the Great East Japan Earthquake must remember their gratitude and reward them.


I think that the Chinese economy will grow further in the future and contribute to the revitalization of the Korean, Chinese and Japanese economies.If the Japan-Korea Tunnel is promoted in earnest from now on, exchanges between Korea, China and Japan will be accelerated. As a result, the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang can inspire the promotion of tourism culture in Korea, China and Japan.It led to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.I think these global big events will be an opportunity to greatly expand exchanges between Korea, China and Japan.If I miss this opportunity, I think it will be difficult for future exchanges between Korea, China, and Japan.How to spend this period is a serious issue.


The population of Asia has exceeded 40 billion. By 2030, there will be 55 billion people.We must pursue how to drive the economic development of developing countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Malaysia, and revitalize the economy of Asia as a whole, centering on Korea, China, and Japan.This is a major issue for global economic development, not to mention within the region.


Now, in Japan, 10 plans such as the 4th Industrial Revolution, renewable energy, and housing remodeling have been formulated for economic growth in the next 10 years.Through this, we are trying to increase overall productivity and connect it to the world.I think the Japan-Korea Tunnel Project will play a very important role in expanding new distribution and export tourism fields with Asian countries.


Regarding the Japan-Korea Tunnel, there were many opinions when I was the Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency.The business community also recognized the need.Many people were thinking positively about the Japan-Korea tunnel.One of them was that the Japan-Korea Tunnel could promote and expand the exchange relationship between Korea, China and Japan.The growth rate of both South Korea and Japan is declining continuously, and dynamism (vitality) is necessary for economic recovery.

You can't do it with mediocre efforts.Everyone must think to the fullest and bring their strengths together.We must bring about a shift in thinking that connects Eurasia to one market.In terms of Asian dynamism, if the Japan-Korea Tunnel is more significant than the joint holding of the Japan-Korea World Cup in terms of the world economy, the long-term economic exchange effect will exceed the World Cup.


Japan's population is also declining significantly.There are limits to the conventional framework of economic growth.We should be actively interested in the Japan-Korea Tunnel in terms of creating a new major economic flow.The Japan-Korea Tunnel will bring about enormous ripple effects in all directions, including tourism, distribution, technological development, human resource development, regional development, and peace in Northeast Asia, as well as the development of politics, economy, sports, and culture in both countries.


It's been a year since I formed a relationship with the Japan-Korea Tunnel.In Japan, the Japan-Korea Tunnel Promotion Council is organized as a private council in 1 of the 47 prefectures nationwide, and members of the Diet and local government leaders participate.In the future, I think that the Japan-Korea tunnel issue will be further activated to the extent that it will be discussed in earnest in the Diet.

The ultimate goal is to make the Japan-Korea Tunnel a government project.If possible, I think we should hold a traveling meeting at the Korea-China-Japan relations ministerial level meeting to discuss it.Japan is steadily preparing in this dimension.I think South Korea must also promote tunnel planning on a governmental level.Overall, new momentum must be created in the Republic of Korea.

Organizations should be created to promote this project not only in Busan but also in Eup, Faces, Roads, and Seoul.I think the President of South Korea should also think about this and make an effort to realize it.In the past, at the Japan-Korea World Cup, Japanese and Korean leaders gathered and discussed almost every day.More importantly, we must abandon the vague idea that the Japan-Korea Tunnel will one day be realized.In my case, I make the decision by when I will do it before proceeding with my work.No one is responsible for the results of a project that you do not know when it will be done.


For example, we should make a plan to "conclude an agreement between the Japanese and Korean governments by 2020 and start construction of the Japan-Korea tunnel by 2030" and confirm with each other.Global competitions such as the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will be held in Asia.I think that top-class discussions such as the ministers of both Japan and South Korea will be held to promote the Japan-Korea tunnel construction plan as a result of implementing a big sporting event, and a plan must be created.


The revolution begins with one person.I think I should do this and be prepared to do it to the end even if no one understands it.I believe that this project will surely succeed if each person who knows the value of the Japan-Korea Tunnel cooperates firmly with the consciousness of working together for the future of Korea and Japan.


"Cooperate for the start of construction of the Japan-Korea tunnel"

I hear that South Korea is in an economically difficult situation with the emergence of a new president.The economy of big cities in Japan is growing, but the situation in local cities is difficult.Both Japan and South Korea have common difficulties due to the disparity between large cities and local cities.In order to overcome such difficulties, we can achieve results by setting the goal of starting construction of the Japan-Korea Tunnel by 2030 and pushing forward with the “World Cup spirit”.I think it is important for both Japan and South Korea to create a bright momentum for the future.


I think the time has come for Korea and Japan to jointly do business.The Japan-Korea Tunnel is the biggest business in both countries.I have been indebted to many people in South Korea, and I would like to take the lead in the exchange and economic revitalization between Japan and South Korea in the sense of rewarding them.I pray that the Japan-Korea Tunnel will open again through today's encounter.I am also weak in Japan, but I will cooperate.


<This text was written by Hiroshi Mizohata (Chairman of the Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau, 7 years old) and former Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency at the "17nd Peace Road Forum" held at the JS Marriott Hotel in Banpo-dong, Seoul on July 22th. This is an excerpt from the content of the lecture given on the theme of "The Japan-Korea Tunnel is the Dynam of Economic Exchange in East Asia". >




Hiroshi Mizohata


After graduating from the Faculty of Law of the University of Tokyo, he joined the Ministry of Home Affairs (currently the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications). It was.Currently, he is working on the development of the Japanese tourism industry and the promotion of sports as the chairman of the Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau and the director of the Oita Football Club.




The original Korean text is translated into Japanese.

The original text can be viewed at the link below or in PDF.


Korea should also create a "Korea-Japan Tunnel Promotion Committee"




You can see the Japanese translation PDF from the following.


  • Korea also has a "Korea-Japan Tunnel Promotion Committee" ...

Top of Page