(Narihito Sato, Reporting department in Kaminoyama City, Yamagata Prefecture)
On October 31st, the meeting for the governors of Hokkaido and the Tohoku region was held in Kaminoyama City, Yamagata Prefecture (chair of the meeting: Governor Harumi Takahashi of Hokkaido). There, a resolution was unanimously passed to push for the realization of the ILC, which is the first time this meeting has passed a resolution solely focused on the ILC. As the national government is close to making a decision, the wording, “the 8 prefectures are together in strongly urging for the ILC” was added to the resolution in order to encourage the government to show a positive intention within the year. They will soon petition the national government.
The governors of Hokkaido, the six Tohoku prefectures, and Niigata Prefecture were in attendance, and Governor Takuya Tasso of Iwate proposed the ILC resolution. The resolution calls for the national government to make their stance clear on investment in the ILC and other international cost-sharing measures as soon as possible. It also calls for the government to deliberate about the creation of an international hub of science, technology and innovation, and how to build up the surrounding region.
Governor Tasso said, “It’s a crucial time right now, as we have to get the ILC into Europe’s next 5 year plan for particle physics. Those preparations begin in January 2019.” Governor Yoshihiro Murai of Miyagi said, “Many foreigners will come to Tohoku, and the ILC will have an enormous effect on Hokkaido and Niigata as well. I hope we 8 prefectures can work together.” The resolution passed unanimously.
In past years, the ILC has been part of proposals to push forth the reconstruction from the 2011 disaster. This is the first time it has had its own resolution, which shows that the 8 northern prefectures are working together to make it a reality.
After the meeting, Governor Takahashi said to reporters, “This is an important plan for the entire world. We hope to support the project through a framework of Hokkaido and Tohoku together.” Governor Mieko Yoshimura of Yamagata Prefecture (leader of the assembly) said, “Tohoku and Hokkaido have suffered greatly from earthquakes and tsunami in past years, and the ILC will lead to our further development and hope for the future.”
Governor Tasso said, “It’s extremely significant that we passed a resolution solely about the ILC. We will call upon all of the governors and related organizations in Tohoku to encourage the national government to make a decision as quickly as possible.”
They also passed resolutions on the reconstructions from the Hokkaido earthquake of 2018 and the tsunami disaster of 2011, as well as to accelerate the creation of a wide-area transportation network that is strong against disaster. Next year’s meeting will be held in Niigata Prefecture.