On September 7th, the Federation of Diet Members for the ILC (FDMILC; Chair: Hon. Takeo Kawamura) formally requested Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to list “ILC Investigative Costs” in the budget.
All of the FDMILC members in attendance were from the Liberal Democratic Party. Also in attendance were Hon. Shunichi Suzuki, Olympics minister and vice-chair of the FDMILC (House of Representatives, Iwate 2nd district), Hon. Ryu Shionoya, secretary-general of the FDMILC (Shizuoka 8th district), and Hon. Shintaro Ito (Miyagi 4th district). The meeting was a closed discussion held at MEXT.
According to the attendees, the FDMILC members explained to Minister Hayashi about how talks are progressing with the staging strategy, where they would shrink the initial length of the ILC from 31 km to 20 km in order to bring down costs.
MEXT has added a request for 260 million yen for the 2018 fiscal year budget for “fundamental technology development” that would increase performance and shrink the physical size of the technology needed to make advanced particle colliders. Hon. Shionoya said, “If you attach a budget by calling it ‘ILC Investigative Costs’, it would show the international community that the Japanese government has taken a step forward.” To which, Minister Hayashi was said to respond, “I will work to understand the situation, and study further.”
The FDMILC also talked with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about reducing the costs of the ILC last week. He told them to consult with the Minister of MEXT. Hon. Suzuki said, “We will work to realize the ILC using all the opportunities available to us.”