Pros and Cons of Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel
Pros and Cons of Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel
  • 김태완 기자
  • 승인 2022.06.23 11:10
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The main purpose of the Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel Plan Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel Plan is to connect Tsushima Island and Iki Island in Japan as intermediate stops on the Korean Peninsula and connect them to the Kyushu region of Japan. In previous history, Japan occupied the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan, and made a plan to establish a 10,000-kilometer tunnel from Shenyang to Beijing and Nanjing in China, to Hanoi, Saigon, and Phnom Penh in Vietnam, and to the Malay Peninsula during the 1930s Japanese colonial era. In other words, Japan intended to open a railway to the Pacific Ocean. Although several undersea tunnels such as Tongyeong Undersea Tunnel and Kanmon Tunnel were opened, it was impossible to pioneer the Pacific Ocean with technology at that time. Eventually, Japan, which lost in World War II, deleted all of these plans. However, since then, The Plans have been raised several times, Recently, the Japanese position to implement the plan has come out again Regarding this issue, various pros and cons have been come up with. Those who are for the plan argue that once the undersea tunnel between Korea and Japan is completed, travel between Busan and Fukuoka becomes rapid. The Korea-Japan undersea tunnel (KJUT) is expected to shorten the passenger transportation time from Seoul to Osaka to five hours and Tokyo to seven hours. Therefore, as Busan become an important traffic gateway due to this undersea tunnel, may have a more important geopolitical advantage than other hub and have the potential to develop more economically. There is an opinion that it will be more beneficial for Busan to become a Hub Harbor where undersea railways pass together than simply existing as a port .A study conducted in Japan in 2002 estimated that land transportation costs through KJUT would be only a quarter of those of sea transport, and that it would take 20 Kyungnam Times ● 35 Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel The proposed routes for the KoreaJapan undersea tunnel days less from Japan to Europe if the railroads are connected to the Eurasian continent On the other side, Koreans are concerned about the construction of KJUT in spite of these practical benefits. First, as mentioned earlier, this construction was planned during the Japanese colonial era period for Japan to easily advance to the continent via Korea; as a result, there is inevitably a strong backlash from Koreans. Also, if this plan had been carried out during the colonial period, Koreans' labor would greatly have been exploited. Therefore, enthusiasm for KJUT is much stronger for Japan which can take a great advantage from connecting Japan to the continent than for Korea. For that reason, in order to proceed the undersea tunnel between Korea and Japan, Korean people's antipathy toward Japan must be eliminated and national consensus as well as a state consensus must be the premise. Chung Tae-ik, president of Korean Counsil on Foreign Relations, made a presentation under the topic, "The Future of Peace in Northeast Asia and KJUT." He said that moving forward with the plan of KJUT is a political project, a matter of national strategic choice, and a sign of the opening of the new era. And he suggested that for its effective 36 Argument & Fact Kyungnam Times ● 37 promotion, a public consensus between the two countries must be premised and the role of political leadership is a key factor. So far, we have heard voices of concern and approval for the installation of KJUT. For the concerned, the hegemonism experienced in Japan's past colonial rule could further spread with the establishment of the KJUT, putting Korea as well as the world at risk. On the other hand, from the standpoint of the proponents, if exchanges between the two countries become more active due to KJUT, the discord of the older generation may be resolved and the path of harmony may be presented for future generations. Judgment relies on each of us as well as the political readers of Korea.

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