Another Link in the Eurasian Landbridge Plan: Japan and Russia Agree to Bridge Hokkaido and Sakhalin to the Mainland
May 17 (EIRNS) Speaking at a meeting of the Russian Federation Council Commission for Natural Monopolies held today in Irkutsk, Vladimir Klimenko, head of the state-run Russian Railroads department for liaison with federal and regional authorities, announced that Japan is ready to invest about 300 billion rubles (some US$12 billion) to construct a railroad link between Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, and the Russian island Sakhalin. Plans already exist for a tunnel under the 43-km wide Laperouse Strait. There are also plans for a tunnel or bridge to link Sakhalin to the Russian mainland, a distance of 7 km. Klimenko said that Russian Railroads and the Sakhalin authorities are preparing applications for funding from the Russian Investment Fund. This rail link is a prominent part of the famous Eurasian Landbridge map published in the 1997 EIR Special Report on the thealong with the recently activated.
At the same meeting, Klimenko said that Russia would need to spend 61.2 billion rubles (about US$2.5 billion) to upgrade the Baikal-Amur Railroad(BAM) until 2020, where cargo traffic is expected to double by 2015. "The capacity of the Baikal-Amur Railroad may be insufficient, especially between Khani and Sovetskaya Gavan," Klimenko said. Some sections will have to be double-tracked and electrified, he said. Russian Railroads can allocate only 2 billion rubles to invest in the BAM 2007- 2009, and needs investors.