(reporting from Iwate Nippo’s Tokyo Bureau)
The Ministry of Education, Sports, Culture, Science and Technology (MEXT) announced on August 29th that they had requested 480 million yen for ILC-related items within its fiscal year 2020 budget (≈ 4.1 million Euros). In July, the Japanese, French, and German governments agreed to start a discussion group, and that added a 50 million yen increase (≈ 430,000 Euros) to the budget compared to what was requested in FY 2019.
The budget allocation calling for “Developing Core Technology for the Next-Generation in Particle Accelerators” was calculated as 320 million yen. This budget will be used to promote joint research between the USA and KEK (Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization) into developing technology that will reduce the costs of superconducting cavities. They will continue to discuss the same themes with France and Germany.
Within the national grant for KEK’s operating costs is an allocation related to the ILC, and is calculated to 160 million yen – the same amount as FY 2019. This will also be used in the Japan-USA joint research.
MEXT intends to take its next steps while taking into account the debates going on between researchers both domestically and abroad (ie, the Science Council of Japan’s Master Plan, to be established in January 2020, and the next European Strategy for Particle Physics (2020-2024) to be establishing in May 2020).
The ILC will be an international particle physics facility for research into the mysteries of the origins of the universe. Its candidate site is the Kitakami mountains of southern Iwate, and if realized, could start operations as soon as 2032.