Subterranean structures in Japan

Shun Akiba, a former high-level foreign reporter, has identified hundreds of kilometers of Tokyo tunnels whose purpose is unknown and whose very existence is denied. What changed his life was finding an old map of Tokyo. Comparing it to a contemporary map, he found significant variations. « Close to the Diet in Nagata-cho, current maps show two subways crossing. In the old map, they are paralleled.
This inconsistency is just the first of seven riddles that he investigates in his book. The second reveals a secret underground complex between Kokkai-gijidomae and the prime minister’s residence. A prewar map (riddle No. 3) shows the Diet in a huge empty space surrounded by paddy fields: New maps (No. 4) are full of inconsistencies: « People are still trying to hide things. »
His book « Teito Tokyo Kakusareta Chikamono Himitsu » (« Imperial City Tokyo: Secret of a Hidden Underground Network »), published by Yosensha in late 2002, is already in its fifth edition. Yet Shun has found it impossible to get the media to take serious note, write reviews or offer interviews. But also he investigates three large buildings in Hibiya that share an enormous underground car park. “This space was there before the buildings were independently constructed. What was it for? ”
As for the Diet Library, this runs to eight floors underground, all closed to the public. A magazine that asks repeatedly to look around is always denied access. “Subway officials treat me as if I’m a drunk or a madman”, Shun notes with a smile. “Tokyo is said to have 12 subways and 250 km of tunneling. I’d say that last figure is closer to 2,000 km. It’s clear to me that the tunnels for the Namboku, Hanzomon and O-Edo lines existed before decisions were made to turn them into public subways.”