``An undersea tunnel is necessary for Busan to become the center of the Japan Sea Rim Economic Zone.'' This year, Busan will embark on a research project to analyze the feasibility of constructing an undersea tunnel between Korea and Japan. Diplomatic relations between the two countries have deteriorated due to the installation of the Statue of the Girl of Peace in front of the Japanese consulate, and if the construction of an undersea tunnel becomes a matter of public debate, the pros and cons are likely to become heated.
An undersea tunnel construction site in Karatsu, Saga Prefecture, Kyushu, which is the starting point on the Japanese side of the Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel.
On the 10th, at the ``2017 Policy Concert'' held in the presence of Mayor Seo Byung-soo, Busan City announced, ``Basic research for the construction of the Korea-Japan submarine tunnel, which is one of the development strategies for the West Busan area,'' was announced on the 10th. It will be implemented for one year starting from February." Construction of the undersea tunnel is one of the 50 major projects in the ``2030 Seo Busan Global City Grand Plan'' announced by the city in 2015.
This reflects the mayor's will, as an undersea tunnel is necessary for Busan to become the center of the Japan Sea Rim Economic Zone, which connects South Korea, North Korea, China, Japan, and Russia. The employment cost is 100 million won.
The main research topics are: ▷ Analysis of the impact of the Japan-Korea submarine tunnel on the Busan economy ▷ Public awareness survey ▷ Feasible routes. Previously, in 2009, the Busan Development Institute (BDI) proposed a route from Gangseo-gu, Busan - Gadeok Island - Tsushima, Japan - Iki Island - Fukuoka (222.64km, project cost 92 trillion won). It turns out that the Japanese side prefers the Kyushu Karatsu - Iki Island - Tsushima - Geoje Island - Gadeok Island - Busan route (288km, project cost 100 trillion won).
The key is the public's sentiment toward undersea tunnels. Experts argue that ``the undersea tunnel will not only be a symbol of economic exchange, but also of joint prosperity between Japan and South Korea,'' and ``It will serve as a passageway for Japan to advance to the continent, and it will bring real benefits to Busan.'' This is because the counterargument that "there is no such thing" is evenly opposed. The recent escalation in diplomatic tensions between South Korea and Japan over the installation of the Busan Girl Statue is expected to have an impact on the spread of negative perceptions about submarine tunnels.
Seong Sam-jeong, director of the Busan Development Headquarters, said, ``It is true that there are many variables in Korea-Japan relations, and the construction itself is a burden. I'll see.'' He added, ``The Korea-Japan undersea tunnel would not be possible without support from the national level, so we will promote it as a long-term goal.'' Previously, at the Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel Discussion Forum held by Citizens' Solidarity for Busan Economic Revitalization in November of last year, Professor Heo Jae-wan of Chung-Ang University (urban economics major) said, ``The Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel could be constructed at a cost of less than 65 trillion won. "Therefore, it is economical," he said.