On January 18th in Tokyo, the Advanced Accelerator Association Promoting Science and Technology (AAA) held a forum for industry and academia professionals to join together to call for the ILC to be hosted in Japan. The international group of scientists leading the ILC have asked the Japanese government to make their intentions clear on the ILC by March 7, 2019, and the government is currently in the last stage of deliberations. At the forum, there were officials from industry, academia, and government, and even manga artists, which was a strong show of support for the ILC in hopes of getting a position decision from the government.
Around 100 people were in attendance. AAA chair Takashi Nishioka (Special Advisor to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group) greeted the event, saying, “If the ILC is realized in Japan, then we can expect improvement to education, technical capabilities, and more. I would like to work my hardest to make sure it is realized.”
Politicians, officials from the local area around the ILC site, and researchers all made speeches calling for the ILC. Hon. Ryu Shionoya, secretary-general of the Federation of Diet Members for the ILC (FDMILC) explained, “The immense cost of the project is a challenge, but we are calling on the national government to position the ILC as a national project outside of the normal budgetary framework for science. This is so the costs don’t put pressure on other fields of science.”
Chair Kunihisa Yamura of the Iwate Prefecture Chamber of Commerce said, “Economic officials at the candidate site are also working hard so the area can host the project.”
Norifusa Mita is a manga artist from Kitakami City in Iwate, and is famous for his work “Dragon Zakura.” He gave a speech at the event. “The manga world also wants to help so as many people as possible can learn about the ILC.”
In December 2018, the Science Council of Japan submitted their report on the ILC to the Ministry of Science (MEXT). While they recognized the project had scientific merit, they pointed out the immense cost as an issue. “With the current plan and state of preparations, we are not at a point where we can support the project being hosted in Japan.”
Hitoshi Murayama, professor at UC Berkeley and deputy leader of the Linear Collider Collaboration (the international organization of scientists pushing forth the ILC), said, “As a place with no natural resources, Japan’s only weapon is its ‘brainpower.’ The ILC is a way for Japan to move to the future, and will bring much new innovation with it.”