If plans go ahead, the Trans-Siberian railway could stretch over to Japan under a proposal from the Russian government. The two countries are reportedly having serious discussions to build a 28-mile bridge that would connect them for train travel. If the bridge is built, you’d be able to journey from Tokyo to London by train across 8,400 miles. Ideal for me…but sadly it won’t be ready for the 2019 Rugby World Cup!
Russian president Vladimir Putin reportedly aims to increase investment in the country’s eastern areas. He recently hosted Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum, where the plans for the connection were revealed. The move could be a big step for the two countries: they never signed a formal peace agreement after WWII, so the proposal has been termed a bridge across history.
According to the TASS news agency, Putin told the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok: “We are planning to build a bridge on Sakhalin that would connect it to Hokkaido.” Sakhalin is a large island which the Soviet Union seized in battle from the Japanese in 1945.
Putin added that better relations between the two countries “could lead to significant changes in infrastructure, energy and high technology.”
Relations between Japan and Russia are hampered by a dispute over ownership of the Kuril Islands, which the Soviet Union also seized after declaring war on Japan in August 1945. According to Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, who was also speaking at the conference, work on joint infrastructure will create “a completely different context for the Kurils”.
He added that a Sakhalin-Hokkaido bridge across the 42km La Pérouse Strait, could be built in the “foreseeable future”.
If (or when) its built, it will be truly one of the wonders of the modern world, however a bridge over 28 miles possibly could be a total new and nervous experience for someone like me. My featured image is the Donghai Bridge, designed for a service life of 100 years, is 32.5km long, around 10km short of the proposed one between Russia and Japan.
I might still take the ferry if the times come.