The Federation of Prefectural Assemblymen for the ILC (a joint group of Iwate and Miyagi prefectural assemblymen) held a seminar at the Miyagi Prefectural Assembly Hall in Sendai City on June 7th. They decided on a resolution to petition the national government to 1) voice a positive intention to build the ILC as soon as possible, and 2) start formal negotiations with foreign governments. Researchers say that the deadline for a decision on the ILC is December 18th, which has only heightened the need for the assemblymen to put forth a unified front.
Mayors of various towns and cities within the two prefectures also attended along with 20 Iwate Prefectural Assemblymen (led by chair Junichi Sasaki) and 21 Miyagi Prefectural Assemblymen (led by chair Motoharu Nakajima). Chair Nakajima opened by saying, “I hope to use our prefectures’ strong hopes about the ILC as our strength.”
The ILC is an important plan that will contribute to the growth of Japan, and could lead to the development of the region that is open to the entire world. Thus, the resolution was made to urge the Japanese government to voice a positive intention to host the ILC. They will also call for the government to push forward with international negotiations regarding research participation and the sharing of costs.
Chair Sasaki stressed that “we have no time to lose with the effort to host the ILC. We will coordinate with related institutions and groups, and continue to unfailingly petition the national government.” The federation will go on to petition the government based on this resolution.
Professor Emeritus Masakazu Yoshioka of KEK gave the seminar, where he indicated the importance of getting the ILC into the next European strategy for particle physics (2020-2024), which will have an influence on all of international physics.
He stressed that the deadline for Japan voicing its intentions would be December 18, 2018, based on the schedule for the strategy. He tried to convey a sense of crisis. “Europe and the USA are already saying they are relying on a leadership stance from Japan. We are standing at a crucial crossroads.”
The ILC will be a huge experimental research facility that will attempt to study the creation of the universe. The world’s leading candidate site for the project is the Kitakami mountains of Iwate Prefecture, and the current focus is whether or not the Japanese national government will decide to host the project.