On August 5th, Hanamaki City and the Hanamaki Chamber of Commerce held a seminar for local residents on the ILC at a hotel in the city in order to raise enthusiasm for the project.
Around 180 people were in attendance from local citizens to business officials. Jun Sasaki, director general of the Bureau of ILC Promotion at the Iwate Prefectural Government gave a presentation entitled “The latest developments with the ILC,” where he talked about why the Kitakami mountains between Iwate and Miyagi prefectures were selected as the ILC candidate site, as well as how the project is moving forward both domestically and abroad.
He introduced various initiatives for the ILC: “New technology will spring forth from the research done at the ILC, and can be used in biology, the energy sector, space, and more. We are currently calling on businesses and universities to make use of those technologies.”
If the ILC is realized, then many researchers from Japan and the rest of world are expected to come to live in the area. Regarding future city development, he said, “There are many foreign visitors to Hanamaki, and if you continue working to welcome foreigners in this way, then you’ll be ready to receive the ILC. Hanamaki’s strength is in the positioning of its high-speed transportation network (ie, Hanamaki is home to an airport, an exit off the highway, and a Shinkansen station).”
Fumiaki Sasaki, who is both the director of the Hanamaki International Association and the vice-chair of the Chamber of Commerce, said, “Our challenge is how to integrate the many researchers and their families into our society, when their common language is English (and our’s in Japanese).” His hope is that the movement for the ILC will have a positive impact on restaurants, recreational facilities, and real estate in Iwate.