Setting up housing and education (for the ILC) is a “must” – Working group at MEXT’s Panel of Experts presents outline of their report

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (June 3rd edition). Read the original here.

Within the Panel of Experts deliberating on the ILC for the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, Sports and Culture (MEXT) is the Working Group for the Verification of Methods of Structure and Management (Chief: Shoken Miyama, former head of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan). On June 2, they held their fifth meeting at MEXT, and presented an outline of their report. Should the ILC be realized, the outline indicates a need for setting up an attractive living environment with housing and educational facilities. It asks for debate on a framework that would divvy up the costs between the national government, local governments, and participating research organizations, as well as other participating countries. The working group will put together their full report by July.

The outline indicates how important it is to provide housing that foreign researchers and their families would be happy with. It explains that “families would be particularly interested” in having internationally-recognized primary/secondary schools. It also stated that a new facility would be required if it did not already exist.

The document also called for daycare facilities and securing employment opportunities for spouses, and said that the national government, local governments, and participating research organizations would need to think about how to divvy up the costs as well as how to share costs with other countries.

It also stated that the assumed scale of population would not grow as much as predicted unless research themes were broadened.

The document urged that “it is vital to have a relationship of trust with the local area” in order to push forth the ILC project. In order to ease worries about the particle-colliding experiments at the accelerator, the outline urges that there should be a dialogue with people in the local region from an early stage.

Since the scale of the budget is so large, “it is crucial to have a strong organizational structure based on an international agreement” when setting up the international research organization that would run the ILC.

The ILC will aim to solve the mysteries of the origins of the universe, and the Kitakami mountains of Iwate Prefecture are the world’s leading candidate site for the project. The Japanese government will base their decision on whether to host the project on the debates taking place at the Panel of Experts, and will make their decision sometime this year to next year.