August 2022
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3


Y. Nishikawa: Address to World Summit 2020

Address to World Summit 2020, Seoul, Korea, February 3-8, 2020


I am truly grateful to the organizers for giving me this opportunity to speak in front of scholars from around the world about the great historical significance of the vision Rev. Sun Myung Moon had for the realization of world peace.

As you all know well, Rev. Moon’s activities were not limited to religion but covered all fields of politics, the economy and society. Not only was he a person of religion, but he also was a great civilizationist, an economist and thinker who led the way to the realization of world peace.

For example, in the field of politics, he warned about the threat of communism early on. He planted the seeds of anti-communism in Japan to prevent Japan from being tainted by communism. He also presented numerous remarkable ideas to realize world peace. Today I would like to talk about one of them: the vision of an international highway and undersea tunnel that connects countries and continents.

In November 1981, during the 10th International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, held here in Seoul, Rev. Moon proposed the construction of a “great Asian highway” which would start from the Asian continent, go through Korea and reach Japan, and eventually become an “international highway” that connects the whole world.

Bering Strait Tunnel

Rev. Moon also proposed the construction of the Bering Strait Tunnel between Alaska and Siberia as the core of a transportation network linking the Pacific Rim. The tunnel would be a 100-kilometer-long undersea tunnel across the Bering Strait and then would extend into a comprehensive infrastructure system of railroad and optical communication networks 6,000 kilometers long.

The Bering Strait Tunnel is an essential infrastructure to complete the International Highway connecting from Africa’s Cape of Good Hope to Santiago, Chile, and from London to New York.

The Effect of the International Highway and Tunnel

What significance does the construction of the International Highway and Bering Strait Tunnel proposed by Rev. Moon have for humankind?

First of all, it will stimulate the exchange of people and trade of goods, bringing great economic impact. Furthermore, Rev. Moon suggested that the frequent interaction of people and goods through the International Highway and undersea tunnel would lead to the formation of an Asian community, and that social equalization will be promoted through active exchanges of economic, cultural, ideological and religious activities, contributing greatly to the realization of world peace.

Deutsch’s Transactionalism and Security Community

Rev. Moon’s proposal to realize peace through the active interaction of people, goods and information across borders has been confirmed through the research of Professor Karl Wolfgang Deutsch of Harvard University. Deutsch is a prominent international political scientist who theorized that communication and the exchange of people and goods has a positive effect on international cooperation. His theory, transactionalism, constitutes one of the leading schools of international politics.

According to Deutsch, when the cross-border movement of people and goods becomes active, communication networks expand, and economic transactions and exchanges in communication, tourism, information, trade and finance deepen, bringing about changes in the attitudes and perceptions of people. This creates a “we-feeling” among peoples of countries in various levels, and such changes in consciousness will trigger the creation of a cross-border security peace community that will not allow war. Deutsch’s theory, which focuses on the importance of cross-border exchange, has been a driving force behind the birth of the EU and the acceleration of European integration.

The construction of the International Highway and undersea tunnel which Rev. Moon proposed is the best way to achieve greater cross-border interaction across the globe. And based on Deutsch’s theory, it can be said that the highway and tunnel will contribute greatly to the creation of an international community that shares security and prevents conflicts between regions and countries.

Deutsch died in 1992, but even today, after the Cold War, the legitimacy of his theory which emphasizes the importance of communication and interaction is being recognized through the research of professors Michael Barnett of George Washington University and Emanuel Adler of Toronto University.

Technological Advances Make the Possibility of Long Tunnel Construction A Reality

When Rev. Moon announced his vision of the International Highway, the construction of a long tunnel seemed like a dream. However, the Seikan Tunnel and the Euro Tunnel were later built in 1988 and 1994, respectively. Recently, the Gotthard Base Tunnel in the Swiss Alps was completed in 2016, followed by the Bosphorus Strait tunnel, or Eurasia Tunnel, in Turkey that same year.

The Gotthard Base Tunnel is the world's longest railway tunnel at 57 kilometers in length. The Bosphorus Strait Tunnel connects Asia and Europe by rail. The passage of railways through this undersea tunnel enables mass transportation of people and goods, and it is expected that this will promote the economic development of Turkey.

In addition, there are also ongoing projects to build a tunnel between Siberia and Sakhalin in Russia, as well as an undersea tunnel to connect North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. Technological advances and changes in international cooperation, such as the development of civil engineering technology and of interdependence, have made international highways and undersea tunnel projects a reality. Rev. Moon’s ability to foresee the future is amazing, and it is necessary to reconfirm the importance and significance of his proposed initiative.

Anti-globalism Trend

However, in recent years, there has been a growing concern in the international community when considering world peace. It is the trend of denying globalization and putting the interests of one’s country first. As globalization has progressed, the influx of refugees and migrants has created challenges, such as the deterioration of security and religious conflicts. Also, as global companies in search of cheaper labor costs have moved their production bases from their home country to developing countries, workers in developed countries have faced an unemployment crisis.

This situation has resulted in globalism—which was praised at the end of the Cold War—being overshadowed, and now countries are raising their national borders again. However, denying globalism and prioritizing the interests of one’s country and people is by no means desirable in achieving a world of peace and stability. Now that the threat of anti-globalism is on the rise, it is necessary to recall Rev. Moon’s teachings and take measures to enhance cross-border interaction, such as the International Highway initiative.

The Concept of Connectography

Under such circumstances, a researcher who is pointing out the importance of the concept proposed by Rev. Moon is attracting attention worldwide. Parag Khanna is a scholar of international politics from India, who was named one of the most influential figures in the 21st century by Esquire magazine. In one of his books he explains Connectography, a concept of connective geopolitics, emphasizing the importance of communities connecting.

It was once believed that "geography determines the fate of a country," but with the development of social infrastructure—such as arterial roads, pipelines and undersea internet cables—in the future, it is connectivity that will determine the fate of a country. In other words, global infrastructure is transforming the world system from “division to connectivity.” Parag Khanna claims that increasing connectivity means further growth, and that increasing connectivity transcending borders is a way to save the whole world.

The increase in the cross-border interaction of information, communication, logistics and the movement of people deepens the connection between countries, and these interconnections will equalize the stage of economic development and the gap between the rich and the poor. Khanna says that if this connection becomes global, middle class globalization is possible. And to do this, it will be necessary to carry out projects such as international highways and submarine tunnels to connect continents separated by oceans and develop communication infrastructure that connects countries to countries, regions to regions, and continents to continents. Khanna’s theory is exactly the same assertion that Rev. Moon advocated half a century ago, and it shows us the greatness of Rev. Moon’s foresight and contribution to the academic world.

Japan-Korea Tunnel

Lastly, one of the proposals made by Rev. Moon which must not be forgotten is the Japan-Korea Tunnel project. This undersea tunnel would connect Japan and South Korea, going through the Tsushima Strait.

Currently, two Eurasian land powers, China and Russia, are engaging in hegemonic actions. In order to stop the territorial expansion, the cooperation of maritime nations is indispensable, and it is particularly important to strengthen the alliance between Japan, the United States and Korea. Unfortunately, the relationship between Japan and Korea is at its worst since World War II. It is not easy to find ways to improve relations because of complicated issues such as awareness of history between countries and public sentiment. The Japan-Korea Tunnel project is the best proposal that can improve the future relationship between Japan and Korea, or Japan and the Korean Peninsula.

Rev. Moon proposed connecting Kyushu, Japan and Pusan, South Korea by constructing the largest undersea tunnel in human history, over 230 kilometers long. As can be seen from the results of the construction of the Seikan Tunnel and the Channel Tunnel over the Strait of Dover, the construction of the Japan-Korea Tunnel is technically feasible with Japan's advanced civil engineering techniques. In addition, a national organization for the preliminary construction of the tunnel has been established in all prefectures in Japan. Interest in the Japan-Korea Tunnel is increasing in Japan.

Once the Japan-Korea Tunnel is completed, Rev. Moon explained that the Korean Peninsula would become an important link between the Eurasian continent and the maritime nation, Japan, and become the birthplace of a new civilization. In addition, the economic impact the Japan-Korea Tunnel would have has been recognized by the world-famous investor Jim Rogers.

The most important thing is that Japan and Korea work together hand in hand, help each other and join hearts to build the largest undersea tunnel of the century. Japan and the Korean Peninsula will enter a new era when the tunnel is completed, as a result of the wisdom of, sweat of and spirit of cooperation between the two peoples. The era of confrontation and hostility will end, and we will enter an era of reconciliation and cooperation. This will greatly contribute to the peace and stability of Northeast Asia, and that is exactly what Rev. Moon wished for.

Is it not time now to make efforts that will realize Rev. Moon’s International Highway and undersea tunnel projects?

Thank you very much.



To go back to the IAAP Assembly Schedule page, click here.

To go to the World Summit 2020 Schedule page, click here.