Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Interesting piece on a proposed tunnel between Korea and Japan. There would seem to be considerable engineering challenges to such an undertaking but most of the reservations about the project appear to be otherwise motivated:
The Ministry of Construction and Transportation said there are no suitable financial resources and that the undersea tunnel is so long that it would be less efficient than air or surface shipments. The Korea Railroad Research Institute and the Korea Transport Institute presented a report containing the same conclusion last year.

Ahn Byung-min of the Korea Transport Institute said that if the construction is realized, Japan will become the hub of trade and the harbors of Pusan and Kwangyang in Korea will lose their current status.

Other opponents worry that Japan is expected to gain the upper hand in the logistical competitiveness in Northeast Asia, which will result in expanding Japanese influence over the Korean peninsula.

``The more we talk about it, the more it becomes obvious that it will damage Korea. For the sake of national interest, it is better to not discuss the project officially,'' a government official said.

However, many Korean scholars say that such reasoning comes from persecution phobia, which is not constructive for bilateral relationship. They say that ties between Korea and Japan should be approached from a different perspective from the past and that pursuing the Korea-Japan undersea tunnel project could be a turning point in doing so.

Connecting Tokyo to London? Posted by Hello

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