The International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) has approved a shortened length for the ILC’s first stage, which is predicted to greatly reduce construction costs. ILC-related officials in Japan have welcomed the news as it “increases the possibility that the ILC will come to fruition,” and the area has taken a fever pitch in their efforts to urge the national government to make their decision and to increase the pace of preparations.
Chair of the Iwate Prefecture ILC Promotion Council Mr. Kunihisa Yamura (also chair of the Federation of Iwate Chambers of Commerce) said, “Construction costs will be greatly reduced, taking us a leap forward towards the realization of the ILC. We will work to make petitions and prepare the area for the ILC so that the national government will make its decision as soon as possible.”
Chair of the non-partisan Federation of Diet Members for the ILC, Hon. Takeo Kawamura (House of Representatives, LDP), praised the news, saying, “It feels much more likely that the ILC will become a reality.” Regarding his work with the national government, he said, “Prime Minister Abe is seeing more and more that this is an important project. In the beginning stages, we need the national government to produce a supplementary budget, and to show specific actions.”
Hon. Shunichi Suzuki, vice chair of the FDMILC and Minister of the Olympics (House of Representatives, Iwate 2nd district), said at a press conference on the 10th, “The bottleneck lies in the financial scale of the project. I think we can move forward a step thanks to this approval.”
In Ichinoseki City, part of the candidate site, Mayor Osamu Katsube has been working for the ILC for over 20 years, since his time as an Iwate Prefectural Government worker. “A clear direction will push along the national government’s decision. Ichinoseki will continue to work with Iwate Prefecture, Oshu City, and Kesennuma to bring about the ILC,” he vowed.
As for the ILC Promotion Councils of both Iwate and Tohoku, within the year they will hasten to prepare the results of their research into the economic effects of the ILC (including this shortened first stage), and also a master plan for community development around the ILC. Prof. Atsuto Suzuki, director of the Tohoku ILC Planning Office and also the president of Iwate Prefectural University, said, “All of these organizations working for the ILC in Japan shall join together, and stress to the Japanese national government that the ILC is crucial, because of its effects on the economy, industrial development, and the revitalization of regional areas besides Tokyo.”