Scientists and economic organizations that have been pushing forth the ILC project in Japan held a press conference in Tokyo on November 20th. Together, they responded to the draft released by the Science Council of Japan’s ILC Committee on November 14th, stating that “there are factual errors and a lack of understanding [of the ILC in the draft].” They stressed that it would be important for Japan to host the project, saying they would like the ILC Committee to focus more on the effects of new technology and new jobs developing that technology, as well as further development and use by the private sector.”
Researchers from KEK’s ILC Preparation Office and officials from the Tohoku ILC Promotion Council were in attendance. They released a document they submitted to the SCJ on the 19th outlining their opinions and further explanations of the project.
Regarding precise measurement of the Higgs particle (the ILC’s main focus), the SCJ’s draft had said that, “The scientists in the particle physics community have not formed a consensus that the Higgs is a priority over other subjects in particle physics.” In response to this, the ILC-supporting researchers pointed out that “[the community] is calling for the construction of the ILC at high-energy particle physics conferences,” so the draft is “in error.”
Regarding a portion that read, “economic spillover effects will be limited,” they said, “a more factual approach is necessary. The SCJ’s take on the matter is too one-sided.” They asked for people to understand that, “We are not at the stage where the Japanese government decides whether or not to approve the ILC. We are at the stage where we need to decide to if we can move away from non-public debates led by scientists, and whether or not official negotiations should begin between governments.”
The committee will hold their next meeting, closed-to-public, on November 21st. At the press conference, President of Iwate Prefectural University Atsuto Suzuki said, “The ILC will be important for particle physics as well as contribute to the region and industry. I hope that the ILC Committee will correctly understand the project and give it a fair evaluation.”