On January 25th, Hon. Masahiko Shibayama, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) stated that MEXT was continuing to deliberate on the ILC project. “Along with carefully examining the report made by the Science Council of Japan (SCJ), we are keeping in close contact with related government bodies and hearing opinions on the ILC from various areas of government. We would like to continue with comprehensive deliberations.”
Hon. Shibayama talked about the official process for pushing forth large-scale scientific projects in Japan. “The SCJ has a master plan that they have established (that determines the course of science in Japan). Using that as a base, the MEXT’s group of deliberators needs to place new projects somewhere on the road map, making clear just how much a priority each project should be.”
Regarding the ILC project, he stated, “It must be deliberated within the SCJ’s master plan, and we must also gain the understanding and support of the domestic scientific community.” However, regarding a decision, he said, “The international organization of scientists has asked us to demonstrate our position by the beginning of March. We would like to carry out comprehensive deliberations, including logical arguments, as well as keep a focus on international developments and requests.”
The SCJ’s master plan is put together in order to demonstrate guidelines for large-scale scientific projects in Japan. The most current version is from 2017, and the next version will come out in 2020. From 2019, they will begin taking proposals for projects from the public.