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Y. Nishikawa: Address to International Leadership Conference 2019

Address to International Leadership Conference 2019, Seoul, Korea, May 15-17, 2019


Ladies and Gentlemen and Distinguished Guests, thank you for inviting me to such a meaningful international conference. In addition, I would like to express my sincere appreciation towards the organizing committees and related staff members for giving me the chance to present the Japan–Korea Tunnel. Today, I would like to share with all of you from not only Seoul, but all over the world regarding the construction of this tunnel.

Japan and Korea are separated by the sea. The distance is approximately 130 km across the island of Tsushima. We can dig a tunnel under the Genkai Sea and connect Japan and Korea with a railway or a road. That is the concept of the Japan–Korea tunnel.

At the International Conference on the Unity of the Science (ICUS) held in Seoul in 1981, Rev. Sun Myung Moon advocated that this project be a part of the International Highway Initiative. There were similar plans and projects in prewar Japan.

What is the meaning and value of this huge project that would connect Japan and Korea with a submarine tunnel? First, the Japan–Korea tunnel would have a great effect on the economic development of the two countries.

Jim Rogers, one of the world's top three investors, has said that a Japan–Korea tunnel would "generate huge economic value," given the long-term ripple effect across the Asian region.

There is a supply-chain relation between Japan and Korea. Japanese companies provide parts to Korea and Korean companies assemble them and export them to the world. However, the natural obstacle of the sea lies between the two countries. If a tunnel is built, Japan's Kyushu and South Korea will be truly one economic zone, which can be called the Genkai Economic Zone. In the future, if the railways passing through the Japan–Korea tunnel connect the north and south of the Korean Peninsula and further extend to the Eurasian continent, greater economic effects can be expected.

The Japan–Korea tunnel can also respond to the increasing tourism demand of both countries. Last year, the number of Japanese and Korean tourists who traveled between the two countries topped 10 million. Tourism has grown over 400% in the last 20 years and will continue to grow in the future. The number of passengers that can be carried by aircraft is limited. The weather conditions at the Genkai Sea are so unpredictable that shipping can be unstable. On the other hand, running high-speed railways in a tunnel will allow many people to be transported in a timely fashion. There is no doubt that it will contribute not only to the distribution of goods but also to the expansion of tourism. Furthermore, if a transmission line passes through the tunnel, mutual exchange of energy between Japan and Korea becomes possible.

Next, I would like to talk about the political effect of the tunnel. The international political scientist Karl Deutsch, who provided a theory for European integration, has explained that if traffic in terms of people, information exchange, and logistics such as freight increase, there will be eventually be peace and a secure community. In Europe, this has manifested as the EU, and it is about to come true.

The increase of tourist and logistic ties through the Japan–Korea tunnel will lead not only to economic results but also to strengthening the social and political relations between the two countries and will also allow for the establishment of a Northeast Asian community.

Japan and Korea, being separated by only a narrow strip of water, need to be good neighbors with each other and to build a strong friendship and trust relationship. I believe that working together to build this long tunnel is a great opportunity to strengthen the bond between the two countries.

In addition, financial institutions and companies in the United States should pay attention to this huge project, and I would like you to participate in it. Not only will it provide great business opportunities, but it will certainly contribute significantly to the strengthening of the friendship between Japan, Korea, and the United States. In other words, the Japan–Korea tunnel is a “peace tunnel” that would deepen the ties between Japan, Korea and the United States and contribute to peace and security in Northeast Asia.

The cost of constructing the Japan–Korea tunnel, the world's longest undersea tunnel, is estimated to be approximately $100 billion, and the construction period is about 10 years. Japan has been involved in the construction of large tunnels such as the Seikan Tunnel and the Dover Channel Tunnel. Given these achievements and the high level of tunneling technology possessed by Japan, construction of a Japan–Korea tunnel is technically feasible.

The Japan–Korea Tunnel Project is not just a volunteer-spirit initiative. It was already been adopted in 2010 as a joint research projecs by the two governments. From now on, it is important to further enhance the understanding and support of the people of Japan and Korea, and to encourage the governments of both countries to decide on a formal national business.

I would like to ask all of you for your understanding and support of the Japan–Korea tunnel project.

Thank you for your time and attention.



To go to the May 2019 ILC Schedule page, click here.