What changed his life was finding an old map in a secondhand bookstore. 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 parallel.”
The journalist in him taking over, he sought out construction records. When responses proved defensive and noncooperative — “lips zipped tight” — he set out to prove that the two subway tunnels could not cross: “Engineering cannot lie.”
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: “What was the military covering up?” New maps (No. 4) are full of inconsistencies: “People are still trying to hide things.”
….What most concerns Shun is not the existence of this network, but why it is a carefully preserved secret. He can understand why maybe before World War II the government thought it prudent that the public remain in ignorance. “Not wanting the enemy to know, it was decided to tell no one and let the population survive as best it could.”
At the end of the war, the Cold War took root. “It seems likely that the subterranean complex was prepared for a possible nuclear attack.” What is going on right now under our feet, he wonders, with scares of war in the Middle East and within missile range of North Korea.
Brilliant investigative journalist or lunatic conspiracy theorist? You make the call.