Hon. Tetsuo Saito, secretary-general of the Komeito political party, spoke with press in Morioka City on December 9th about the ILC. He strongly called for the national government to make a decision on the project: “While we will take into account the recommendations of the Science Council of Japan (SCJ), in the end, the ILC is something that the politicians have to decide.”
Hon. Saito stressed that the costs were something the national government had to make the final decision on. “It does depend on how the SCJ responds with their recommendations on the ILC. However, in some sense, the SCJ is a gathering of scientists from different fields. There are directly affected by the costs of research.”
Hon. Saito was in Iwate in order to attend a conference on politics and economics at the Komeito branch office in Iwate. To an audience of 500, he said, “The USA leads the International Space Station, and Europe leads the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. The consensus around the world is that the third big project, the ILC, should obviously be led by East Asia.” He continued, “The ILC will not just be a place for gaining new knowledge. It will be a place that will birth new technology that will lead to new industries. Japan should host the project.”
Hon. Saito is originally from Shimane Prefecture, and is the proportional representative of the Chugoku region (western Japan). He is also a member of the Federation of Diet Members for the ILC (FDMILC). He also mentioned in his talk about how the Kitakami mountains of Iwate and Miyagi came to be the candidate site for the ILC in Japan. “Once that happened, many Diet members from western Japan dropped out of the project, but I remained,” he said, stressing the importance of the project.