Nov. 2021, 4
While the relationship between Japan and South Korea is said to be the worst after the war, the concept of "Japan-Korea Undersea Tunnel" has emerged.This is an infrastructure plan that connects Kyushu in Japan and Busan in South Korea with an undersea tunnel to run railroads.
This is a magnificent project with a total distance of more than 200km, mentioned by Mr. Kim Jin-jin, the chairman of South Korea's largest opposition "People Power Party" emergency response committee. In the Mayor's elections in Seoul and Busan on April 4, candidates from the same party defeated the ruling party.Mr. Kim, who was the head of the party, has retired, but will the Japan-Korea tunnel concept move forward?
We asked Hirofumi Sato, President of the International Highway Foundation, which promotes the project in Japan.
--Please tell us about the historical background of the Japan-Korea Tunnel concept.
Hirofumi Sato (Sato) In the 1930s, the Ministry of Railways of Japan planned a "Western Channel Tunnel" from Kyushu to Busan on the Korean Peninsula via Iki and Tsushima, but then stopped due to war and other reasons. Did.After the war, it was advocated by Obayashi Corporation, a super general contractor, in 1980.
The epoch-making event for the Foundation was the 1981th International Conference on the Unification of Science held in Seoul, South Korea in 10, when President Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church advocated the concept of an international highway and the construction of a Japan-Korea tunnel. That is.This was an epoch-making proposal not only to connect Japan and South Korea with a tunnel, but also to cooperate with the world on a highway.
In response, the International Highway Construction Corporation was established in 1982, the Japan-Korea Tunnel Research Institute was established in 1983, and the groundbreaking ceremony for the Japan-Korea Tunnel Karatsu Slope was held in 1986.We also conducted a nature survey, examined underground routes, and purchased land in Karatsu, Iki, and Tsushima.Currently, the Karatsu pit is stopped, but from now on, the Tsushima pit construction, which was groundbreaking in 2014, will be the main work.
The construction of the Japan-Korea tunnel costs about 10 trillion yen, so it is necessary for both the Japanese and Korean people to agree.The foundation was established in 2009 with the purpose of raising public opinion.In addition, in conjunction with the national movement, the "Japan-Korea Tunnel Promotion Prefectural Citizens' Conference" was formed in 2018 prefectures in 47 to promote the understanding of the people.
――What is the significance of constructing the Japan-Korea Tunnel, which costs a huge amount of money?
Sato: Currently, there are various problems between Japan and South Korea, but by cooperating with each other toward the big goal of creating a tunnel that connects the two countries, we may be able to communicate with each other and solve historical issues. thinking about.We should discuss the Japan-Korea tunnel concept, which is the basis for improving relations, under the hood because it is not the attitude of doing nothing because Japan-Korea relations are bad now.
According to the opinion poll conducted in South Korea two years ago, "necessary" accounted for about 2%, and there is a lot of public opinion.I know that there are opinions in Japan, "Why do we need a tunnel that connects to South Korea?" And "I think South Korea will attack," but I think the Japan-Korea Tunnel is an absolutely necessary international public project. It is positioned as a business.
――Is it technically difficult?
Sato: Basically, I think that the technology of excavating the Seikan Tunnel is sufficient.The problem that is currently known is the condition of the unconsolidated layer that is thickly deposited between Tsushima and South Korea (Tsushima Nishi Suido).It is necessary to consider the construction method after fully assessing the state of the unconsolidated layer and the geological properties.It is necessary to consider sufficient construction methods in other sections as well.If you do them all, it shouldn't be difficult.
――What are your thoughts on the current Japan-Korea conflict?
Sato: This should be learned from the Joseon Tongsinsa during the Edo period.At that time, the messenger visited Japan 12 times, which was an opportunity for Japan and South Korea to deeply meet.I take the Japan-Korea Tunnel to be like a modern Joseon Tongsinsa.Therefore, I think it is necessary to continue the business of constructing the Japan-Korea tunnel.
In Kan Kikuchi's novel "Beyond the Grace," the grudges melt as the souls excavate the tunnel together.It took 30 years for the "Aonodomon" in Oita Prefecture, which became the model for the novel, to open, but if Japan and South Korea work together to dig a tunnel continuously, it will be between the two countries. I believe that it will help to melt the grace relationship.
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