The post-war recovery of Japan continues to go forward at a furious pace, latest stage being marked by the completion of the Kanmon Tunnel, which new links Kyushu with Honshu.
G.V.Pan Honshu Islands pan to Hyushu Island, ship leaving.
L.V. Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Mitsujiro Ishii and party arriving.
S.C.U. Japanese inscriptions on top archway.
L.V. Mr.Mitsujiro and President Michizo Kishi cutting ribbon.
S.V. Japanese children waving flags.
G.V. Deputy Prime Minister and President in open car through arch, towards camera.
Back V. Cars entering tunnel.
Int.Shot. Cars entering tunnel.
Travel Shot Through tunnel.
G.V. Prime Minister and President's car coming out of tunnel.
S.V. Car passes camera.
G.V. Cars leaving tunnel.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The post-war recovery of Japan continues to go forward at a furious pace, latest stage being marked by the completion of the Kanmon Tunnel, which new links Kyushu with Honshu.
This 11,245 ft. tunnel-----3,800 ft. shorter than the Mersey Road Tunnel in England, longest road tunnel in the world,----has cost GBP9million to build and involved the use of 4 1/2million man-days spread over 21 years.
Plans for the project were first put forward in 1929, the Railway Minister vetoed them for fear that the roadway would take away traffic from the railway tunnel that runs parallel to the recently completed Kanmon tunnel, two and a half miles east of it. Three years later it was suggested that a suspension bridge should be thrown across the straits, this time the Imperial Navy opposed the project. Finally an experimental tunnel was bored in 1933, and this led to the comment of the tunnel proper in 1939.
Geographical flaws and the declaration of war retarded the work. At one point the tunnel was separated from the seabed by only ten feet of rock. In 1952 engineers once again descended into the incomplete workings, and the link was established, with a total loss of life of 53 workmen.
There two decks to the new road tunnel, the upper, which is for vehicular traffic.is twenty feet wide. The lower deck is for pedestrian use and is about half the width of the upper deck. Along the sides of the tunnel are walks for safety inspectors who will constantly check various instrument panels that automatically register the occurrence of accidents, the efficiency of the ventilation system, the temperature, and other conditions essential for the smooth operation of the road tunnel.
The advantages of this nun artery are numerous, but most important are the lower costs of transportation, the speed and accessibility from one place to another via the tunnel, the easing of congestion on the passenger trains and the ferry boats, and the reduction of these small ferry craft that obstruct the other shipping passing through the Kanmon Straits.
It has been estimated that the cost of the tunnel will be recovered in about 26 years by charging tolls on the users. The total annual traffic should be in the region of 741,000 trucks, 43,000 buses and half a million automobiles and pedestrians. To compete with conveniences of this underwater road the railway authorities will lower their charges on traffic using the railway tunnel.