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Will the "Japan-Korea Undersea Tunnel" concept, which has emerged rapidly in Korea, be realized?Once also interested in Yoshiro Mori & Ichiro Ozawa

Business journal

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 Koichi Yokota, Secretary-General of the Japan-Korea Tunnel Promotion National Conference.


At that time, Yoshiro Mori was also enthusiastic about the Japan-Korea tunnel concept?



--Please tell us about the movements of the two governments so far regarding the Japan-Korea Tunnel.


Mr. Koichi Yokota (hereinafter referred to as Yokota) In 2008, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and President Lee Myung-bak held a Japan-Korea summit meeting, and in response to the result, the report of the Japan-Korea New Era Joint Research Project was announced in 2010. It was.The same year was a milestone year, the 1910th year since the annexation of Japan and Korea in 100.The report made 21 recommendations, one of which was "promotion of undersea tunnels."This has very important implications.


There is a problem of historical recognition between Japan and South Korea, and the relationship has deteriorated especially in the last few years, but it does not benefit not only the two countries but also Northeast Asia.In South Korea, President Lee announced the South Korean land concept in 2009, and over the next 10 years, he has been conducting research on infrastructure in Northeast Asia.That is, by President Moon Jae-in of the 2018 National Liberation Day of Korea (August 8), "I put South Korea, North Korea, China, Russia, Mongolia, Japan, and the United States for peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia. I would like to propose a railway community of 15 to 6 countries. "



--What are the past statements made by the leaders of Japan and South Korea regarding the Japan-Korea Tunnel?


Yokota When President Roh Tae-woo gave a commemorative speech at the Japanese Diet in the 1990s, he said, "Japanese youths will meet in Seoul through the Japan-Korea tunnel, and finally in Beijing."In addition, Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita has also proposed to consider excavation from Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture.


According to the report of the Japan-Korea New Era Joint Research Project, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori was particularly enthusiastic, and at the ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) in October 2000, he created a tunnel connecting Japan and South Korea and created the "ASEM Railway". I am proposing to name it.At the summit meeting between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and President Roh Moo-hyun, the South Korean side has proposed the construction of a Japan-Korea tunnel three times.


Also, in the non-Liberal Democratic Party administration, I heard that Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata and Prime Minister Naoto Kan mentioned the Japan-Korea Tunnel concept, and Representative Ichiro Ozawa also gave a lecture on the Japan-Korea Tunnel at a Korean university.



--In the Mayor of Busan election, the opposition candidate whose top mentioned the Japan-Korea tunnel defeated the ruling party and was elected.


Yokota In response to this result, it may emerge as a very big problem in Korea. It may also be a concern in the 2022 presidential election.



――In the first place, is the Japan-Korea Tunnel a viable business? There is also an opinion that "it is a problem if the tunnel becomes a gold eater".


Yokota There is an opinion from business people in Kyushu that it cannot be a business, but I think it is a feasible project.Currently, there are 26 ports in Japan and 6 ports in South Korea, but it takes 2-3 days to transport from Yokohama Port or Tokyo Port to Busan Port or Incheon Port.However, if you use the Japan-Korea tunnel or land route, the transportation time and cost can be reduced to about one-third.


The Japan-Korea Tunnel Promotion National Conference requested Junyasu Noda, a professor of the Faculty of Law, Seinan Gakuin University, who was the director of the Comprehensive Planning Division, Land Planning Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, to forecast the business of the Japan-Korea Tunnel.Assuming that the Japan-Korea tunnel will be completed, luggage will be collected at Pusan ​​port, and then transported to ports such as Shanghai port, demand of more than 2030 million tons is expected in 3000, and if it is transported by car train through the Japan-Korea tunnel. The calculation result shows that business revenue of 4000 billion yen and profit of 2235 billion yen are expected.


The International Highway Foundation proposes three routes, including a method to go to Busan via Geojedo via Karatsu, Iki, and Tsushima, and a method to go directly to Busan.According to the calculation method based on the usage forecast survey, it is expected to be established as a transportation business.


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Will the "Japan-Korea Undersea Tunnel" concept, which has emerged rapidly in Korea, be realized?Once also interested in Yoshiro Mori & Ichiro Ozawa

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