Thursday, November 24, 2011

Korea-Japan underwater tunnel?

I've written about it before, this idea of an undersea tunnel connecting South Korea's Pusan or Kŏjedo to Japan's Kyushu via Tsushima Island, several times in the past. It intrigues me.

Well, apparently it also intrigues the folks at the Chosun Ilbo (who usually only get intrigued by pictures of nude or scantily clad women).

They write that such a grand undertaking would take ten to fifteen years to construct and cost 110 to 120 trillion won. Trillion as in cho (조), a number you rarely ever get a chance to use (lop off three of the zeroes to see how much it would be in dollars). We could see this happening around the year 2020 (but don't expect too many English teachers to be helping out).

(HT to The Marmot and his Twitter feed)



  1. Korea has very little to gain from it compared to Japan. Korea may get quicker access to Japan, but Japan gets quicker access to the rest of the world through Korea. I don't see a great need for Korea to hasten its imports of Japanese items. The Japanese market is a highly nationalistic one and so even companies like Samsung had trouble getting a foothold. Trade and tourism are the only slight benefits that this deal would have for Korea. And even so, I think the transportation networks between the countries are fine as they are. Korea has better places to spend its money. Plus, it's not to Korea's advantage to build such a line as Japan could use it as a bargaining chip for political reasons. Just like North Korea in a sense. Just block off access to arrivals and the whole system becomes useless. There are too many unresolved issues with Japan and very little to gain, so it's a bad idea.

    As far as English teachers, why would they help in this project? So that Koreans could communicate better with Japanese? LOL. There are plenty of Koreans who speak Japanese well enough to translate. I'm glad that Korea is considering robots as well as hiring teachers from other countries like India. You often hear the argument from some of them that Korean employers are to blame for the poor quality of English teachers because they are too indiscriminate in their hiring process. With the advent of robots, there will be less of a need for such teachers. The supply will outweigh the demand and there will be more competition. And perhaps, this will motivate some of them to actually do a decent job of teaching instead of blaming Koreans for hiring them or for being bad learners of the English language. And yet, they still feel the need to blame Koreans for being "anti-foreigner" and denying them the jobs that they are "rightly entitled" to. I'm glad for the robots and their effect on the whinepat community because Korea really doesn't need people like that.

  2. itissaid wrote:
    As far as English teachers, why would they help in this project?

    Well, other than as proofreaders for materials related to it, not much. My only reason for mentioning them is that the year 2020 came up, and that made me think of one of my favorite satire pieces, the one I linked to. Any excuse to link to that one.


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