Takuya Tasso (Governor of Iwate), Kunihisa Yamura (Chair of the Iwate ILC Promotion Council as well as the Federation of Iwate Chambers of Commerce) and Atsuto Suzuki (President of Iwate Prefectural University and Director of the Tohoku ILC Planning Office) gave a press conference on March 7th. Governor Tasso praised the government’s position: “This is the first time the national government has shown an interest in the ILC, and I welcome them to make a clear decision.” These three men have worked hard to push forth the ILC here, and they have all taken this statement to be a move forward. They have good expectations for future international negotiations.
Governor Tasso stressed, “The international organizations of scientists backing the ILC have also taken this as a positive statement from MEXT. We in the candidate site area would like to do all we can so that negotiations can proceed smoothly between governments and scientists.”
Chair Yamura indicated that he would ramp up his activities to bring about the ILC. “It is certainly one step forward for them to recognize the potential the ILC has for the area surrounding the candidate site. We will do our utmost to ensure the area is ready to receive the project.”
President Suzuki, who is also a particle physicist, said, “This is the first time the national government has officially used the words ‘ILC Project.’ They also showed that they were interested. This is very important for the project.” MEXT said that they will continue international talks, to which Suzuki reacted thusly: “They made a very positive decision.”
Some are disappointed that the government is not yet ready to make a declaration on whether or not to host the ILC, but Governor Tasso’s good mood was steady. “They will bring their negotiations with partner countries up to the next level, and will seriously come to the table. You could say that this is the day that the national government has finally decided to officially and systematically work towards the ILC.”
The next step will be whether or not the ILC project is included in the master plan drafted up by the Science Council of Japan. President Suzuki said, “The ILC is always at the top as far as particle physics goes. The Master Plan respects plans from all areas of science, so people from other fields should not be the ones to deliberate on the ILC.” He indicated that he thought that the ILC would be entered into the plan as an important project.