`Korea, Japan Need to Dig Undersea Tunnel, Launch Weather Satellite'

Article excerpt

Japanese Ambassador to Seoul Kazuo Ogura yesterday put forward fresh ideas to enhance Korea-Japan ties, which range from the joint launch of a weather satellite and the construction of an undersea tunnel linking the two countries.

Under the title ``Prospect of Japan-Korea Relations in the 21st Century: The Asia-Pacific Era,'' Ogura made the remarks at a symposium hosted by the Asia-Pacific Policy Research Institute (APPRI) at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. The event was co-sponsored by The Korea Times.

Ogura, known as a man with creative ideas, made the suggestions, noting that it is crucial for the two countries to implement large-scale economic cooperation projects to deepen its bilateral partnership, such as the joint hosting of the 2002 World Cup.

In fact, the relationship between the two countries entered a new era with the establishment of a ``joint declaration on a new ROK-Japan partnership for the 21st century,'' created in October last year during President Kim Dae-jung's visit to Japan.

Noting that it is time to work for the new vision of the Korea-Japan relations, the ambassador exemplified such ideas as an undersea tunnel, the joint launch of a weather satellite, the establishment of a Eurasian gas pipeline and a free trade zone.

Ogura's ideas still need deep scrutiny and will take a long time before actual realization.

If an undersea tunnel is created like the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France, it is expected to presumably link Korea's Pusan to Japan's Shimonoseki.

As Korea and Japan are neighboring countries geographically, it is also possible to launch a weather satellite together to cope with natural calamities such as typhoons. …