“I am certain we can move forward” Prof. Satoru Yamashita talks about his predictions for the national government’s decision at a seminar in Ichinoseki

The original article was published in the Iwate Nichinichi (January 11th edition). Read the original here.

A seminar on the latest goings-on of the ILC was held by the Ichinoseki Chamber of Commerce at the Bellino Hotel in Yamanome, Ichinoseki. There, Prof. Satoru Yamashita (specially-appointed professor at the International Center for Elementary Particle Physics of the University of Tokyo) said he believed there would be a step forward by the national government in time for the March 7th deadline for a decision on the ILC.

The Science Council of Japan was asked by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to deliberate on the ILC. While they recognized that it was a project with significant scientific merit, they had some concerns with international cost-sharing and the fact that it had not been worked out yet. “We have not yet come to a point where we can support the project.” They submitted their answer to MEXT in December 2018. International researchers have now set the deadline for the national government’s decision to March 7th, so we have entered the final stage. With all that going on, it was thought best to have a seminar on what was going on with the ILC.

Around 140 people attended, including members of the Chamber of Commerce. Prof. Yamashita praised the SCJ’s report. “They took the ILC very seriously. I am extremely grateful that they evaluated the ILC to be a scientifically worthwhile project. I’m also glad they put together a list of the challenges before us.”

“What’s necessary now is for the Japanese national government to take a step forward and start international negotiations,” he stressed. If the government does voice a desire to build the ILC, they will enter into negotiations for sharing the costs with other countries, and if consensus is gained, then the project can move forward. “But if they do not voice a desire to build the project, or if the negotiations go south, then the ILC will automatically stop in its tracks. It’s vital that we take caution going forward. We must reach a point where we can start international negotiations in the next two months’ time.”

“If we push forward full speed until March, I am certain we can move forward. This is extremely important, so that the world, not just Japan, can open a new path into the future. Politicians and government officials are now taking their first steps toward a comprehensive decision.”

There were questions from the audience regarding worries of radioactivity and economic effects of the ILC. Prof. Yamashita responded, “It’s very good to get a wide variety of opinions. We want to hear what the local area is thinking, including criticism. I hope you will voice your thoughts directly.”