Morioka City holds its first advisory board: Discussing the challenges in internationalizing the region

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (November 21st edition). Read the original here.

On November 20th, Morioka City held the first meeting for its new advisory board for discussing the region’s internationalization in preparation for projects like the International Linear Collider.

Five of the six members of the board attended, and members come from the fields of academia, international relations, tourism, and industry. Part-time lecturer at Tokyo University of Science, Professor Junsei Chiba (nuclear physics) was chosen as head of the board, and in his opening speech, he said, “My research was in a field very close to the ILC, but as I live in Kanegasaki*, I know close to nothing about the culture of Morioka. I’ll be taking all of your comments into account to create applicable advice (for Morioka to internationalize).”
*a town in southern Iwate close to Oshu City, Ichinoseki City, and the candidate site for the ILC

At the meeting, members shared what might be problems for foreign researchers and their families should they live in Morioka. Some discussions included, “English-language information about life in Morioka needs to be increased and improved,” and “What are your ideas about regarding the education environment for the children of researchers?”

The board will meet an additional two times, and then give their proposal within the fiscal year regarding an approach towards developing an international city, and concrete initiatives towards that goal.