The Words of the Cartier Family

Report on the International Highway Project

Vinh Lequang, Walter Morauf, and Bruno Cartier
March 1987

It has been more than five years since True Father proposed the International Highway Project at the tenth ICUS held in Seoul in 1981. Last year, on October 1, 1986, construction work officially began on the Japan-Korea undersea tunnel, the first link of the Highway Project, which will connect the Japanese island of Kyushu with the southeastern tip of Korea near Pusan.

An opening ceremony was held at the very spot of the first investigative inclined shaft of the tunnel. For this occasion about 250 participants gathered -- representatives of government agencies and private organizations, members of the Japan-Korea Research Institute, and Korean university professors who support the project. The president of the International Highway Construction Corporation, Mr. Kuboki, performed the symbolic deed of detonating the first explosive charge, officially starting the work.

For five years this project has been like an unborn child, gestating in the mother's womb of Japan. With the opening ceremony the work is now taking visual shape, and we are proceeding with the first steps confidently -- but not without problems -- towards completing the greatest engineering project ever undertaken.

When True Father begins a new strategy or a new project, he may not directly explain in advance the providential significance of the undertaking or tell us in detail what we have to do. When Father proposed the International Highway Project in 1981, he spoke about what it would contribute towards the creation of a better world, but he did not speak about its deeper spiritual meaning. God told Noah to build the ark on top of a mountain but without telling him the reason. In the same way, Father gives us instructions and a direction, and relies on our obedience and faith to implement them. Today, in a world torn by conflicts and suffering from the influence of communism, we can understand that True Father has asked us to build the most incredible means of uniting the people of the world, transcending racial, cultural, and national barriers in order to bring about a world of peace.

Realm of the Third Blessing

The International Highway will eventually link Northern Europe, North Africa, and the continent of Asia. Highway interchanges will connect trunk roads in various countries, facilitating transportation and trade. Rich and poor countries will be connected, making possible the distribution of material blessings to every part of the world. By the time the highway is completed, much of the world will already have learned to live unselfishly. We can say, then, that the International Highway belongs to the realm of the third blessing. After being restored to the position of God's child, mankind will be able to have dominion over the things of the creation. The International Highway will be a means to share and spread the material wealth that God has put at our disposal. True Father has proclaimed that the barriers between different spheres of the spirit world have now been broken down. This situation must be reflected in the physical world too, in order for all people to communicate freely. The International Highway will help make this possible.

The highway is planned to incorporate an International Free Zone, which will extend one kilometer on both sides of the highway. This Free Zone will be most important at the interchanges with national highway systems, where people will be able to stay or travel, crossing borders without a visa.

Soon after True Father made the proposal of the Highway, a preparatory committee was formed in Japan to start the practical work, consisting of both church and non-church staff. The next step was the formation of the International Highway Construction Corporation as a legal entity. This was needed for more official activity: for example, to get permission for marine research and for construction activities.

As a next step the Nikkan Tunnel Research Institute was inaugurated in May 1983. Through this institute, well-known experts in different fields, in connection with either construction or research aspects, will contribute their expertise voluntarily in their spare time. The office of the Research Institute itself has only a handful of members who work fulltime.

Until autumn of 1983 most of the work was done in Japan, but now in Korea many professors have begun to become involved. As the political situation in Korea is very different from the one in Japan, an official body comparable to the Research Institute is only now being established. So on a spiritual level the Adam nation and the Eve nation are already working together. The next stage is to propose the idea of the International Highway Project in as many nations as possible and on all possible levels -- from students to government officials. The more countries that are working at the same time on this project, or are even just aware of it, the quicker the worldwide connections will be established.

Design of the Tunnel

The Japanese name for the Japan- Korea Tunnel is Nikkan. The word is derived from the first syllables of Nihon and Kankoku (the Japanese words for Japan and Korea). Its basic design calls for four tunnels. Two main tunnels, about 12-14 meters (13-15 yards) in width, will contain a high-speed railway system. Cars will not drive through the tunnel for safety reasons, but will be transported by special vehicle carriers. A service tunnel will house the support and ventilation systems, with air ducts every 500 meters, as well as safety back-ups. The fourth, or pilot tunnel, is necessary for construction purposes and to drain off water that may enter the other tunnels. The tunnels will be approximately 100 meters (110 yards) below the sea bed.

The process of construction begins with vertical or inclined shafts. Once reaching the proper depth, the pilot tunnel is dug for about 100 meters (110 yards). Then it is possible to start the service tunnel which in turn makes possible the construction of the main tunnels. This process does not involve construction problems so much as the problem of getting materials in and out. The lateral distance between the tunnels will be about 50 meters (55 yards), but this may vary due to geological conditions.

While its entire length of 230-260 kilometers (143-162 miles) seems enormous, for construction purposes the tunnel will be divided into sections of 20-30 km (12-18 miles). Two large islands, Iki and Tsushima, lie along the path of the tunnel, and artificial islands may be created to help in the construction as well. Work will be under way at a dozen or more sites simultaneously, which will shorten construction time to a great degree.

Such a project involves many coordination problems aggravated by differences in language and culture as well as the long distances involved. Problems such as housing and feeding the workforce, securing materials, arranging transportation, dumping excavated materials, protecting the environment during construction, ensuring safety, and measuring the correct alignment of the tunnel will be dealt with on a scale never before experienced. Even greater than the practical difficulties are the spiritual and emotional challenges that are always present in restorational and providentially significant work.

The question of financing is also very important. Presently the International Cultural Foundation (ICF) has provided most of the funds for research, although some donations from corporations and individuals have been received. In the future, other forms of financing will have to be found to ensure that work can continue to progress. The estimated cost of the Nikkan Tunnel is approximately $14 billion (based on prices as they were in 1984). Estimates for the entire International Highway Project have not yet been completed.

Transcending Barriers

Needless to say, the Highway Project is very close to True Father's heart. During his lecture tours in Korea in 1986 he stressed the importance of this project again and again.

This project is a wonderful way to testify to True Father's great global vision. All of the people who have come in contact with the Highway Project (including Western visitors) have been amazed and are completely enthusiastic about it. Even the communists will eventually have to recognize and acknowledge the need for an international highway.

While many of our movement's activities have become quite prestigious and influential on a national level, the Highway Project will bring Father's providential work substantially to the world level by mobilizing people and leaders of many countries to work together. This project will help people transcend their narrow interests and contribute in a very substantial way to the elimination of barriers between East and West, between developed and underdeveloped nations, and between the communist and free worlds. The Highway Project is a great step toward the realization of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

Cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony. Third from right, President Osami Kuboki; far right, Mr. Eizaburo Nishibori.

Messages of support from Japanese dignitaries

Keihachiro Shimizu
Honorary Professor of Chiba University

I joined the Research Institute from the beginning. Initially, the purpose, significance, and contents of this project seemed to be very vague to me. But after many meetings and on-the-spot investigations, I came to realize that this is the very project that can give human beings hope and inspiration. I felt it deeply significant to participate in it, with a feeling comparable to the spirit of the Olympic Games.

The requirements needed for this research are of an international, interdisciplinary, and technological nature. I had the opportunity to discuss this project with many scholars and intellectuals of various fields, through which I came to understand the international circumstances and to broaden and deepen my learning and my experience.

The completion of the Japan-Korea Tunnel will probably come at the beginning of the 21st century. As the level of technology of that age will be more than 10 times that of today, either a tunnel or a bridge will be easily constructed at that time. We cannot think of this project from the viewpoint of today's technological expansion. Rather, let us take a long-term view of the project. At that time "one peaceful global nation" will have emerged, and a bus from Sapporo to London will be operating. We will be able to come and go between Japan and Korea without the necessity of a passport. Nothing can give us greater inspiration and hope than this project.

Masatoshi Matsushita
Former President of Rikkyo University

What a wonderful project! We are familiar with the expression "One World Family" which, I believe, is a splendid ideal. However, it would not be possible to realize without means of transportation. Whether the world can be "one family" or not depends largely upon a transportation system which would connect the whole world. I must say that today's technology is ready to make it possible.

Some factor has truly brought man's intellect and abilities to an extremely advanced stage of development. We need to be humble to the fact that we are the children of God and that man's unprecedented development grew out of his interaction with the spirit of God. We should kneel down in front of God, the Creator, with thanks for giving men this special developmental ability. This inspiration of the International Highway Project is just a fine example of this spiritual interaction between God and men, and is the by-product of what man can accomplish as the child of the living God.

Masahide Kanayama
Former Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of Korea

This proposal of Rev. Sun Myung Moon stems, I think, from his prophetic farsightedness as a man of religion. The heavenly providence seems to have already started working for its realization. The International Highway Project is the best means, especially in the communist sphere, [for countries] to emerge from economic backwardness, if we approach with the proper diplomatic perspective. Laying a road is the first prerequisite for their modernization. The alternative proposal for saving the human race from destruction by nuclear armaments is to undertake such a monumental public project as the International Highway, to be constructed for the sake of peace, with the spirit of mutual understanding, cooperation, and harmony.

This prophecy seems to be eccentric, and yet this concept-changing ideal appears to be necessary for saving this world.

Fumio Aoba
Director of the Japan Economic Research Institute

From ancient times, people have spoken of world peace as they expanded their national and racial territories. In fact, people desired to build up the new world order only to be more profitable for their own country by self- aggrandizement. This usually resulted in a confrontation of power.

The success of the International Highway Project is based on the assumption that each nation stops pursuing her own profits and takes a global perspective. This is really worthy of attention, I think, because it stems from an ideal of love for humanity; in other words, a spirit of living for others is underlying this project. I am honestly surprised at the power existing to execute this ideal, to make it into an actual enterprise.

The Apollo enterprise, a dream of the late President John F. Kennedy, encouraged the American nation and consequently realized man's first landing on the moon. In the same way, I am sure that the supreme ideal of the International Highway Project will inspire human beings to bring forth world peace.

Eizaburo Nishibori
President of the Japan Technology Transfer Association

I was very much impressed with the International Highway. As I myself wanted to live a romantic life -- and have so far lived with such an attitude -- I felt this romantic dream of an honest man, who has worked all his life for such a dream, will surely come true.

Since then I have placed high aspirations and expectations in this project. I would like to cooperate with it as much as I can. Today, nations are fighting over national boundaries and ideologies. It is a big dream, waiting to be realized, that we end conflicts and make the world into one. One of the approaches to it is the International Highway Project. The research and study of the Japan- Korea Tunnel is now under way, progressing step by step. I presume that this project will be realized much earlier than expected. I am sure that our descendants will enjoy world happiness brought about by the realization of this highway. 

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