(Reporting from the Tokyo Bureau)
In a press conference held on June 23rd, Hagiuda Koichi, minister of MEXT (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), responded to the 2020 Update to the European Strategy for Particle Physics, which was released on June 19th. He demonstrated the Japanese government’s position that it would continue their discussions moving forward, saying “We recognize that they did not go as far as to pledge participation or concrete ways of cooperation. We will respond by discussing the matter with the US and European governments.”
He evaluated the contents of the strategy, saying, “It breaks down much more of Europe’s future accelerator plans, and also states that Europe should investigate both its technical capability and financial capability of realizing these projects.” However, it did not go as far as to pledge concrete ways of cooperating in the ILC project.
The strategy, which was released by CERN on June 19th, states that the ILC is compatible with the European strategy, and that they hope to collaborate on the project should it be realized in a timely manner in Japan.
KEK (Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, in Tsukuba, Ibaraki) has made an application for the ILC project to be placed in MEXT’s roadmap for large-scale academic research projects, as the ILC would need to be on this list to be considered for receiving a budget. MEXT will conduct hearings into these applications, and will put together a draft of its roadmap in September or later. After a period of public comment, it plans to establish and release the roadmap.