2017.11 A twelve-point agenda
12 月 03

The objective of the grand design is to create ideal development scenarios and also to create economic spheres like symbiotic communities we can share, while utilizing physical integration to build the national gas pipeline, international public transportation, telecommunication and so on. The largest hydropower dam at the Yalu River running between the border of North Korea and China was built more than 60 years ago and provides energy to North Korea and China.

As Japan had this kind of technology before the Second World War, I recommend bringing international public goods beyond the borders through multilateral cooperation. When we look at a picture of North Korea taken by satellite at night, we can see how North Korea is suffering from an energy crisis. The northern part of the Korean Peninsula is almost completely dark. We can see the constant light of international transportation corridors such as the Siberian railways. There are nine major international transportation corridors in Northeast Asia. But unfortunately, there are no appropriate connections beyond the borders.

Natural gas is the most environmentally friendly energy in the world. Russia and the Far East including west and east Siberia have 20 percent of the natural gas reserves in the world. China has been heavily dependent on coal for more than 70 percent of its energy. Therefore, we have been faced with serious environmental concerns such as acid rain or greenhouse effect. If China shifts from coal to natural gas, it is possible to solve the problem of this environmental issue. Today the natural gas pipeline is from Russian Far East, Mongolia, China, North Korea, South Korea and Japan.

There are two different types of multilateralism in Northeast Asia. One includes China, Central Asia and Russia. Another one is China and ASEAN through the overseas Chinese and the Tumen River Development Program led by the UNDP along the border of North Korea, the Russian Far East and China. UNIDO is involved in this project. Japan and the United States are not keen to support this project because it is a communist-led project. A Cold War structure still remains in this region, and the two different types of projects should be integrated. A Northeast Asia natural gas pipeline project is an ideal multilateral project because all six nations of Northeast Asia would be able to share energy resources reciprocally. And also we can build a telecommunication network, an electric power grid and a tourist development project. This approach has become very cost effective. Japanese ODA or UNDP country programs are based on the countries of priorities.
This is the problem in terms of duplication of hard infrastructure. It is better to have a spatial development project to connect border to border. We can create a cost effective project.

Proposal for a new international organization
How much does it cost to pursue this kind of large-scale project? It costs about $10 billion per year in the next ten to twenty years to create this kind of project. Ten billion dollars is very expensive, but compare that to the cost of reconstruction in Iraq, which will cost $20 billion annually in the next several years. North Korea is the most dangerous country in the world. North Korea is using a brinkmanship. The international community must maintain the position not to give in to North Korea’s blackmail. It’s better to prepare the road map based on preventive diplomacy or cooperative security and spend $10 billion.

If North Korea becomes a member of international financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank,World Bank or European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, these three existing international organizations can provide $1.5 billion and the Japanese bilateral or private sector or several private sectors from all over the world can provide probably $1 billion. As $10 billion is needed, there is a shortfall of about $6 or $7 billion. Therefore, we propose to establish a new international organization in this region.

A new international organization is not easy to build. We must understand that East Asia has the potential to become one of the three poles, along with the EU and NAFTA. The locations of most international organizations are in New York, Washington, DC, Paris, Geneva and Vienna. There are no large international organizations in Asia, only the Asian Development Bank, in Manila, ESCAP in Bangkok, and the United Nations University in Tokyo.

If China builds an international organization, the rest of East Asia will deteriorate. Therefore, the best way is to establish a new international organization, which is able to share three different functions while three major countries such as China, Japan and South Korea are able to share mutual interests. It needs three windows to cover three different functions such as development, social and monetary functions:
Establishing a window for the development funds in China as China will be a major donor country for the development of North Korea.
Establishing a social factor in South Korea as South Korea needs huge amount of money for the unification of the Korean Peninsula.
Establishing monetary function in Japan because Japan is interested in stabilizing monetary functions from the experience of the East Asian financial crisis of 1997.
It is possible to establish one international organization called the East Asian Economic Social Development Organization with three different functions at three different locations

Leave a Reply