MEXT requests a budget of 260 million yen for accelerator science in fiscal year 2019 – same number as FY 2018

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (August 24th edition). Read the original here.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) is working towards inserting a 260 million yen line item in their fiscal year 2019 budget request proposal for ILC-related matters. They intend to request the same amount as for FY 2018, and for the budget to be used towards developing technology to reduce costs for building advanced particle accelerators.

They will be striving to develop the base technology that would reduce the costs associated in building large particle accelerators, such as superconducting accelerators that would be accelerate particles to close the speed of light. The biggest issue with the ILC is its high price-tag, but the USA and Japan have been trying to reduce the costs of construction further, with joint research into lowering the costs of the superconducting accelerator cavities (which would form the heart of the device).

The Federation of Diet Members for the ILC (FDMILC, Chair: Hon. Takeo Kawamura, House of Representatives) had pressed for the words “ILC” to be written in the budgetary request proposal as well as the revised budget after autumn, but will continue to press the government in that regard.

Researchers around the world are urging the Japanese government to make a decision on the ILC within the year. The Science Council of Japan, which was asked by MEXT to deliberate on the project, has established a committee to debate and evaluate the ILC, and the government will take their results into account when making their decision whether or not to host the ILC.

Also in MEXT’s budgetary request was 160 million yen for ILC-related matters within their national grant for KEK’s operating costs.