On July 23rd, a sign for the ILC project was installed for people walking by the east exit plaza of JR Mizusawa-Esashi Station (Hada-cho, Mizusawa district, Oshu City). The Oshu City government prepared this sign to spread the word about this large-scale science project to all of those who use the station. Mizusawa-Esashi Station is the entranceway to the city, as well as the shinkansen station closest to the proposed site for the ILC in the Kitakami mountains. Along with installing the sign, [the city] is also moving forward with a plan to prepare an ILC corner in the station’s Southern Iwate Exchange Plaza.
The ILC is being planned as a center of international research on elementary particle physics. When researchers settled on the Kitakami mountains as the proposed Japanese site, they strongly recommended building the central campus (international research facility) alongside a shinkansen station. The Oshu’s “ILC City Development Vision,” established this year, also mentions the creation of a hub of innovation around the station area. Having a shinkansen station nearby could be extremely important to the ILC site and its related facilities.
The station is used by many in the surrounding Esashi and Isawa areas as well as the coast, and many business clients and tourists arrive here from outside of Iwate. The city had previously installed a pillar by the front entrance to the station (the west exit) where they put a banner for the ILC. Unfortunately, that pillar is currently covered with signs for the Iwate National Sports Festival to be held later in 2016.
However, the east exit, with its free parking lot and rental car services, also sees a lot of traffic – hence the city’s effort to install the new sign.
The sign is 7.28m long, and 91cm tall, with words and pictures printed on both sides. It is by the hedges of the east exit plaza, and can be seen easily by not only those leaving the station, but also those who come from the parking lot. A map is also placed with information related to the location and distance to the ILC candidate site.
Oshu City is preparing a PR corner in the Southern Iwate Exchange Plaza where people can learn about the goals and significance of the ILC, as well as the nature of its research. They plan on setting it up in some form in time for the National Sports Festival in autumn.