The Linear Collider Collaboration (LCC, the organization spearheading the ILC project) will hold the international Linear Collider Workshop (LCWS) in Sendai City from October 28th to November 1st. It will be three years since the LCWS was held in the Tohoku region, as Morioka City hosted the conference in 2016. This autumn will be an important time to foster an atmosphere where the national government can make a decision on whether or not to host the ILC. At the LCWS, they will communicate the scientific importance of the ILC to the rest of Japan and the entire world, and boost enthusiasm for the project.
LCWS will be held at the Sendai International Center in Aoba, Sendai City. According to related parties, around 300 accelerator researchers and business officials from around the world are planned to attend. The LCWS is held every year, rotating between Asia, Europe, and the United States. Researchers use the LCWS to discuss technology related to linear colliders (which include the ILC) and other academic topics. Last year, the LCWS was held in the city of Arlington, Texas.
In March 2019, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) voiced that they “have an interest” in the ILC, which is the first time the Japanese national government has made such a statement. They said that they intend to continue international talks on the ILC. In May, Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture) established a working group of researchers from Japan, the USA, and Europe, and they will put together their report for MEXT in September. Cost sharing between countries remains the biggest hurdle, and it is believed that the national government will begin discussions between Japan, France, and Germany in the future.
Next year will see the establishment of the Science Council of Japan (SCJ)’s next Master Plan for major Japanese science projects next year, and the next 5 year strategy for particle physics in Europe (2020-2024). The national government will take those discussions into account to decide whether or not to host the ILC. This autumn will mark an important period as that work will be well underway.
Prof. Hitoshi Yamamoto of the Graduate School of Science of Tohoku University has deep ties to the LCC, and he explained, “This period of time will be the final push as the Japanese government works towards its decision. The LCWS will be an important opportunity to communicate the importance of the ILC both domestically and abroad.”
Lyn Evans (director of the LCC), Atsuto Suzuki (president of Iwate Prefectural University), and Prof. Yamamoto will give a press conference on May 21st to talk about the LCWS.