110 million yen requested for ILC-related items in MEXT’s FY2017 budgetary allocations

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (August 31, 2016 edition).

On August 30th, the Ministry of Education, Sports, Science, Culture and Technology (MEXT) released their requests for budgetary allocations for fiscal year 2017. A total of 110 million yen was requested for investigations and technical development related to the International Linear Collider, a large-scale international particle accelerator that is proposed for the Kitakami mountain range (Kitakami highlands) within Iwate. This was the same amount as the request for fiscal year 2016.

The request was broken down into 60 million yen for risk analysis, investigation, and research related to the international large-scale accelerator plan, and 50 million yen for developing the core technology needed to improve performance, reduce size, and lower the cost of a future accelerator.

For the previous fiscal year budget, a total of 110 million yen was requested for investigating the large-scale international joint project, as well as the development of core technology for the particle accelerator. An eventual 80 million yen was allocated in the budget. It is forecasted that investigation, research, and technical development related to reducing the cost of the ILC accelerator will continue in the 2017 fiscal year, as the international share of financial responsibility remains a hurdle.

Another 40.8 billion yen was calculated for support for the reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (reconstruction special accounts portion). Much of that will go to restoring schools and supporting school attendance, but a portion of 700 million yen will go to the Tohoku Marine Science Hub Creation Project, which will investigate the ocean environment around Otsuchi Town (Iwate Prefecture) and Onagawa Town (Miyagi Prefecture). Another portion of 1.6 billion yen will go to the Tohoku Medical Megabank plan, which will survey the health of survivors in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures.