Volume V - (2003)
- Written by Thomas J. Ward
Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 11, 2010 - Pages 199-210
The construction of a bridge and tunnel complex that would connect Russia and the United States via the Bering Strait, along with the building of a tunnel complex to connect Kyushu Island in Japan with Pusan, Korea represent key components of the International Peace Highway which has been publicly advocated by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon since 1981. This paper explores compelling dimensions of this project through the optics of religion, history and international political economy.
Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Proposal for an International Peace Highway
Figure 1: Section of the map of the
On November 10, 1981 at the Tenth International Conference for the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS) in
The maps developed in conjunction with that 1981 proposal also depicted a connector between
In his keynote address to the second meeting of the Summit Council for World Peace on February 2, 1990, Rev. Moon again spoke of the importance of this project and of the unique opportunity provided through President Gorbachev’s implementation of Glasnost. He recognized President Gorbachev’s efforts and observed, “I would like to extend my hearty congratulations to President Gorbachev for his courage and leadership in bringing about these constructive changes, enabling us to usher in this new era of cooperation.” He reiterated his support for President Gorbachev and also spoke once again of the importance of the
As you may know, in 1981 I launched an International Peace Highway project. When completed, this highway will allow a family car to be driven from Tokyo to London. I am seriously discussing the project with the governments of Japan, Korea and China, and I hope that the Soviet Union will also welcome this project. Of course, this is a lofty dream, but every great undertaking begins as a dream. Not so long ago, no one could even have dreamed of men walking on the moon, but with a vision and hard work, it became a reality. So it will be with the International Peace Highway.
In 2005 Rev. Moon further elaborated on the need for a bridge/tunnel complex connecting
In a speech delivered on February 1, 1986, Rev. Moon intimated a direct relationship between the
The final problem is opening the blocked spiritual gates of hell and heaven… The name of the
Thus for Rev. Moon, the world highway system represents not only humankind’s physical integration but it also furthers spiritual reconciliation and integration.
Research institutes and foundations were established as early as 1981 in
Reverend Moon has more than a superficial understanding of
Reverend Moon has strong feelings about the way in which the former
International Peace Highway in the Context of History
Religion and the Symbolism and Significance of Highways
Roads and highways have always played an essential role in facilitating the communication of ideas and beliefs. Efficient travel from one city or from one country to another was essential for the expansion of Buddhism and Confucianism. Buddha and Confucius both traveled with their followers from one venue to another in order to teach the implicit proprieties of leadership and human interaction. Christianity spread quickly from the Near East to
Highways, it would appear, can have more than utilitarian significance. In the case of Christianity and Judaism, the call for the creation of an
And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Social and Political Significance of Highways and Bridges
Highways reflect a human desire to be connected, while walls reflect another, darker human sentiment, to remain isolated and separated. Structures such as the Berlin Wall, the Great Wall of China, the Demilitarized Zone between North and
Unlike walls, bridges and highways can heal distances and contribute to peace. For example,
Let us trust that the structure that is to bring these two great Anglo-Saxon countries into closer contact with each other will serve also to increase mutual respect and appreciation and prolong indefinitely the years of peace.
In a similar way the Chunnel, connecting the
Contemporary social movements have utilized highway construction as a tool to facilitate peacebuilding. Sri Lankan Gandhi Peace Prize winner Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, founder of the Sarvodaya non-violent movement, has dedicated much of his life to helping to mitigate the dispute between Singhalese and Tamils in
Significance of the Bridge-Tunnel Structures in the
International Peace Highway
The connecting bridge-and tunnel structure over the Bering Strait and the tunnel between
Value of the
International Peace Highway for Peace
Strengthening International Peace
The United States Institute of Peace, the official peace research institute of the government of the United States, describes the various stages of discord and conflict that one passes through in moving from overt conflict to a state of durable or lasting peace (or vice versa) through what is referred to as the Curve of Conflict. The Curve of Conflict that was developed by Michael S. Lund identifies the spectrum of warm, stable relations to volatile, violent relations that can exist amongst nations. Depending on the quality of relations between states or populations different forms of diplomatic remedies are required.
Let us begin by looking at the possible flow of relations between nations from war to lasting peace by considering a chart that I have adapted from
Figure 2: Stages in the Curve of Conflict
Durable (or Warm) Peace involves a high level of reciprocity and cooperation, and the virtual absence of self-defense measures among parties, although it may include their military alliance against a common threat. A ‘positive peace’ prevails based on shared values, goals, and institutions (e.g. democratic political systems and rule of law), economic interdependence, and a sense of international community.
It can be contrasted with the definition of “Stable Peace”:
Stable (or Cold) Peace is a relationship of wary communication and limited cooperation (e.g. trade) within an overall context of basic order or national stability. Value or goal differences exist and no military cooperation is established, but disputes are generally worked out in nonviolent, more or less predictable ways. The prospect for war is low.
One could certainly make the case that Stable Peace, if unattended, can lead to “Unstable Peace,” as indicated in the chart above; and this may then escalate to the level of a Crisis or to War. The lack of regular communication and exchange could allow for the Stable Peace that currently exists between the
Let us next consider
An International Peace Highway between the United States and Russia and between Korea and Japan would facilitate communication and exchange between former enemy nations and thus help to maintain a stable peace in the case of Russia and the United States or help to prevent the unstable peace between North Korea and Japan from deteriorating into what Lund identifies as a “crisis” or even “war.”
There are numerous reasons why it would be in the interest of disputing nations to explore the building of highway that would connect them. In recent years, the value of Track II diplomacy has become increasingly apparent. Track I diplomacy consists of official envoys coming together to represent the studied diplomatic positions of their respective countries. Track II diplomacy is unofficial and “off the record.” It can often be merely an exchange of private citizens. In such a case, there are far more opportunities for a “sharing of hearts” and for frank and open discussion. Highways and bridges increase the flow of people from divergent countries and create venues for exchanges of ideas.
Fostering a Shared Vision of One World
Normally a shared value system can contribute to the realization of a major project when it involves one or more countries. In the case of the
What is the unifying vision that lies at the root of the
Specific Sociopolitical Benefits
Although the increase in trade and commerce that would result from such a highway may seem self-evident, it is also true that the proposed highway could have important geopolitical implications. The
NAFTA Membership for
Furthermore, if a bridge were actually built between the
Russia as a Mediator for the United States in the Middle East?
A partnership with
Korea as a Mediator between China and Japan
The building of the Tunnel system between
Role of Religious Leaders
Religious leaders can provide important guidance to political and civic leaders and also motivate the public for peaceful and constructive change. Many of the dramatic positive changes of the twentieth century happened because of bold initiatives by religious leaders. This included the movement of non-violence (Ahimsa) led by Mohandas Gandhi that liberated the Indian subcontinent after a long period of British domination. Likewise, Dr. Martin Luther King’s religious convictions led him to a path of non-violent resistance and constructive engagement which ended segregation in the
Religious leaders have at times gathered to pray for peace or to address social injustices. Could religious leaders appreciate the vision of an international highway system? Could they appreciate the appropriateness of building an inexpensive transport system that would enable the international community to reach areas of the world affected by epidemics, famine and natural disasters? Could they be inspired and inspire others by the vision of a world where former enemies become partners in building peace and prosperity? Why not host convocations that invite religious leaders to join together for spiritual reflection and prayer with a focus being the realization of an
In this paper we have tried to outline the symbolism behind the
Robert F. Kennedy liked to say, paraphrasing George Bernard Shaw: “Some men see things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” Reverend Sun Myung Moon is a man who, throughout his life, has labored and dared to dream and ask, “Why not?” His life of sacrifice allowed him to dream big dreams and, through them, strive onward for the liberation of humankind and the liberation of God.
Some day in the not too distant future Russians and Americans will shake hands and laugh in the cold Arctic air, and Japanese and Koreans will share bulgogi, sushi and kimchi at the completion of the Kyushu-Busan Tunnel. The
 Sun Myung Moon, “The Reunification of Korea and Cooperation between East and West,” February 2, 2009, http://www.unification.net/1990/900202.html.
 Sun Myung Moon, “God’s
 Sun Myung Moon, Cheon Seong Gyeong (
 Based on oral accounts provided by individuals involved in facilitating these communiqués.
 Prophecies regarding Highways can also be found in Rev. 16:12 and Isa. 41:2.
 “The Bridge that Peace Built,” excerpted from a 1925 Buffalo Post editorial, from http://www.peacebridge.com/docs/Peace%20Bridge%20Museum.pdf.
 From a speech delivered at the
 See USIP Certificate Course in Conflict Analysis, where the Curve of Conflict is explained, http://origin.usip.org/training/online/analysis/2_0_2.php.
 The following chart is an adaptation of a chart developed based on USIP instruments. Normally nations possessing lasting peace relations do not see said relations dissipate into an Unstable Peace and worse.
 USIP Certificate Course, http://www.usip.org/training/online/analysis/2_1_1.php
 USIP Certificate Course, http://www.usip.org/training/online/analysis/2_2_1.php
 USIP defines “Unstable Peace” as “a situation in which tension and suspicion among parties run high, but violence is either absent or only sporadic. A ‘negative peace’ prevails because although armed force is not deployed [or employed], the parties perceive one another as enemies and maintain deterrent military capabilities... A balance of power may discourage aggression, but crisis and war are still possible.” http://www.usip.org/training/online/analysis/2_3_1.php
 USIP defines “Crisis” as “tense confrontation between armed forces that are mobilized and ready to fight and may be engaged in threats and occasional low-level skirmishes but have not exerted any significant amount of force. The probability of the outbreak of war is high.” http://www.usip.org/training/online/analysis/2_4_1.php
 Track II diplomacy is contrasted with official government to government diplomacy and it usually involves citizen-to-citizen exchanges, especially influential citizens, on crucial matters in inter-state relations.
 Sun Myung Moon, “
 The Russian government in 2007 projected that a
 Sun Myung Moon, “True Unification and One World,” April 10 to 11 1990, World Media Conference, Moscow, http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/SunMyungMoon90/
 Dr. King visited the
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