Monday, June 25, 2007

Japan to build a Space Bridge

A careful reading of this news item from Pakistan indicates that JICA, JAXA and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport are at last combining their many strengths to build a tall bridge in Azad Jammu-Kashmir.

A really tall bridge:

Japan to construct highest bridge in AJK
Pak Tribune

MUZAFFARABAD, June 23 (Online): Japan, as an accolade, will construct earthquake proof world highest bridge in the world in AJK.

The 1km long and 500km high bridge, RCC Chattar-Nalochi, would be constructed over River Jehlum at Muzaffarabad, capital of Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK). A 4 Kilometre long earthquake proof road would also be constructed with the bridge. A Japanese firm Jaica, which earlier designed geological report and master plan for Muzaffarabad as a bequest, would construct and manage the task.

After construction of this 500km tall structure, Japan will dominate the "drive up and kick it out of the bed of the pickup" satellite launch business.


Seriously, even without the typo, why is Japan doing this? Does it really want to build a) a juicy target for Muslim extremists to blow up (Future Headline: "Anti-Islamabad extremists destroy world's tallest bridge")and/or b) the means by which the Pakistani military's heavy brigades gain greater access to Azad Jammu-Kashmir--i.e. India's backside?

Yes, I know. I know. It is to help the earthquake victims...but that is not the way it will end up being used or abused.

Later - Do click on "comments" below, for Okumura Jun has left a very sober and informative answer to my inquiry.

1 comment:

Jun Okumura said...

I'm sure the Pakistani military and security forces have worked out the logistics of defending the bidge from attacks from the Pushtani (?) militants to the west. And a point are easier to defend than space. I remember the Sri Lankans managing to keep the electricity flowing from their hydro power plants when I used to do ODA there in the 90s.

If I were the Pakistanis, I would worry more about India, which could easily demolish the bridge with their superior air power. A bridge is a very tempting target. Does this mean the peace between Pakistan and India still holds? I think it does, even though Musharraf's hold on power looks more precarious by the day.

My guess is, Musharraf desperately needs that bridge to appease the locals, who were truly pissed off by the slow government response to the earthaquake. (In contrast to that from Islamists; have we heard this story before or what?)

There are a several other mistakes in that Pakistani article. Maybe a look through the JICA (the independent administrative agency, not Jaica the firm, for starters) and JBIC websites will shed some light on the matter.