International Cooperation for the ILC: Federation of Diet Members to Visit USA

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo. Read the original here.

The “Federation of Diet Members to Promote the Construction of an International Laboratory for the Linear Collider” (Takeo Kawamura) is planning to visit the United States in January of next year. The Japanese government is expected to make a decision on inviting the ILC from the end of 2017 to 2018, and in the meantime the federation is aiming to lay the foundations for the indispensable international cooperation needed for the big budget construction of the ILC.

When the ILC Federation visited the United States in spring this year, they discussed with US legislators and government officials, and got the go-ahead to start a US-Japan congressional caucus that comprehensively promotes cutting edge scientific projects including the ILC.

For the visit in January next year, after getting on the same page regarding the current situation with the ILC, the federation will start work in earnest to start the US-Japan congressional caucus at mainly the Hudson Institute in Washington DC.

The ILC is a linear collider that would be built about 100 meters underground and stretch for around 30 kilometers, creating a high energy reaction by colliding electrons and positrons. It is a project unique to the world that aims to learn the origins of the universe.

The ILC is in the spotlight among particle physicists throughout the world as the next powerful project to realize after the currently operating Large Hadron Collider at CERN, but the enormous cost of over a trillion yen just for building the accelerator facilities (including labor) is an issue.

The MEXT ILC panel of experts considering technological issues and possibility of realizing the ILC recommended in its mid-term report that、“It is necessary to closely monitor, analyze and examine the development of LHC experiments which are planned to be executed through the end of 2017” Concerning the large cost, the panel pointed out that “It is an essential prerequisite to have a clear vision of participation and cost sharing by international partners including European countries and the United States.”

The federation of Diet members for the ILC has not changed its stance that “The ILC is a worldwide project. We want to promote it as a national strategy.” This next vision to the United States is of great interest as the Japanese government prepares to make a decision in the end of 2017 to 2018.