Throughout his life, Rev. Sun Myung Moon carried out his work for world peace and the restoration of humanity through many different projects and programs. One of the most dramatic was the suggestion to physically link the nations of the world through the proposed Korea-Japan Tunnel and Bering Strait Tunnel, conceived as crucial links in a proposed International Peace Highway.
The International Peace Highway and the Japan Korea Tunnel
Rev. Moon first proposed the construction of the International Peace Highway to an audience of leading international scholars, including Nobel laureates, at the 10th International Conference on the Unity of Science held in Seoul on November 10 1981. The International Peace Highway reflects his grand vision to eventually remove national boundaries and bring humanity together as one by connecting the world through a highway network.
The International Peace Highway was conceived as an eight lane divided highway, with the land on either side of the highway, one kilometer in width, set aside as an international neutral zone that transcends national boundaries. It was also suggested that a visa-free entry and exit system should be implemented in this zone, and that airports should be constructed near the Highway in the vicinity of large cities. In particular, it was suggested that vehicles carrying military supplies or armed forces should be banned from the International Peace Highway.
“The barriers between nations, religions, races and cultures are all man-made,” he said at the time. “There can be no national boundaries in the world originally planned and created by God.”
At the same 1981 conference, Rev. Moon also suggested the construction of a Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel. He saw that a Korea-Japan Tunnel could do much to unite the two former enemy nations and would help create a new era of prosperity in Northeast Asia and help promote the unification of South and North Korea.
Accordingly, in April of 1982 the International Highway Construction Corporation was incorporated in Japan, and in May 1983 the ‘Japan-Korea Tunnel Research Institute’ was established under the leadership of Mr. Yasuo Sasa, a professor emeritus of Hokkaido University in Japan. In July of the same year, researches were begun on the land areas and sea areas of Karatsu, Iki, and Tsushima regions of Saga Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan. And in October of 1986, a pilot tunnel construction work to carry out primary research was begun in Nagoya, Shinsei-cho, Saga Prefecture. Japan carried out terrestrial, oceanic, and airborne topographic researches, together with an environmental epidemiology research on the tunnel section. Moreover, excavation work was begun in Karatsu to investigate the possibility of the Korea-Japan Tunnel. At present, they have dug up to 547 meters under the sea.
In Korea, the ‘Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel Research Institute’ was founded in 1986, and in October of 1988 they carried out a geological survey in five regions in the Geoje Island area.
The Bering Strait Tunnel
On June 25 2005, through his speaking tour of four major cities in the US including Washington DC, Rev. Moon announced the proposal to construct the ‘Peace King Tunnel’, which will connect Alaska in USA with the Russian mainland across the Bering Strait. The proposal was formally introduced at the inaugural assembly of the Universal Peace Federation held at the Lincoln Center in New York on September 12 of the same year. (UPF International Review Page)
The Bering Strait Undersea Tunnel project includes not only the plan to connect the 85 kilometer-long Bering Strait, connecting the North American and the Russian continents for the first time since the last Ice Age, but also the construction of a rail and highway network to connect with existing infrastructure in Canada, the US, Russia and China.
“We can create a global express transportation network that will eventually make it possible to drive from the Cape of Good Hope in Africa to Santiago in Chile and from London, England to New York in the United States,” Rev. Moon said in 2005. “By breaking down the walls of race, religion, culture and nationality, we will establish world peace on this globe, which is the long-cherished dream of God.” (Please see Michael Mickler paper)
On January 18 2008 Rev. Moon registered the nonprofit World Peace Tunnel Foundation under the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs. The Foundation has recently brought together important figures from all sectors and launched the ‘Bering Strait Peace Forum’ and ‘Korea-Japan Tunnel Forum’ to promote the realization of the Korea-Japan Tunnel and Bering Strait Project, and it is also carrying out various activities including academic researches and PR.
In recent years the Russian Government has taken new interest in the idea of a Bering Strait tunnel, and has held several high level conferences to discuss the feasibility of the project, most recently in Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, Russia in 2011. The tunnel proposal was also favorably received at the 2009 Shanghai International Expo.
Rev. Moon continued to be actively engaged in the Bering Strain proposal. He met in Anchorage, Alaska, with Chairman George Koumal and other staff members of IBSTRG (Interhemispheric Bering Strait Tunnel and Railroad Group), a private research institute in the US and discussions on this issue have been held with Russia’s Council for the Study of Productive Forces (SOPS).
Rev. Moon continued to emphasize the importance of these Highway and Tunnel proposals at every opportunity. In November 2010, he reintroduced the resolution at as series of Assemblies in the United States in Washington DC, New York and Las Vegas. “The ongoing project to build undersea tunnels between Korea and Japan and across the Bering Strait, which I have proclaimed to all the world,” he said, “will help build a culture of peace, spearheaded by religious leaders on a worldwide scale and completed in attendance to our liberated God.”
Ho-yeul An, Tongil Foundation Public Relations Department