Science Council of Japan ILC Committee hears from researchers about the scientific significance of the ILC project – but members call for more societal awareness

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (August 30th edition). Read the original here.

The Science Council of Japan has established a committee to review the revised ILC plan (chair: Yasuhiro Iye, Director of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science), and they met for their 3rd meeting on August 29th in Tokyo. There, they heard how physicists from around the globe have evaluated the ILC, as well as the scientific significance of the project.

Eight members were in attendance. Prof. Hiroaki Aihara (executive officer and vice-president of the University of Tokyo), Prof. Ryoichi Hajima (senior researcher at the National Institute for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology), and other experts were in attendance to give reference information on high-energy particle physics and how the ILC was being talked about at accelerator conferences.

From the perspective of high-energy particle physics, Prof. Aihara stressed that the ILC was crucial to precisely measuring the Higgs boson particle. “Researchers around the globe have determined the ILC to be highly valuable. We think we have cleared the hurdles regarding proving the project’s academic significance and design, and would like you to move to the next step: concrete negotiations with other countries on sharing the costs, and establishing an organization to push forth the project.”

A committee member said, “It is necessary to get awareness and acceptance of the project from the people of Japan.”

Following the meeting, Chair Iye said, “There are some aspects where it feels like we’re going in circles, with the scientists opining that there can’t be concrete plans for the project without the national government making a decision first, and the committee members responding that there can’t be a decision without concrete plans and the understanding of the (people in the) candidate site.” Their next meeting will be on September 11th, where they will sort out the points of contention.