The FDMILC to start a liaison council for discussions on the ILC along with the LDP – strengthening the pressure on the national government

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

The Federation of Diet Members for the ILC (FDMILC, chair: Hon. Takeo Kawamura of the House of Representatives) will set up a liaison council to share information between various related organizations working toward the ILC, including those affiliated with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP, Japan’s ruling party). Their meetings will start in August. This council will boost the project’s presence in the political world, which will increase the pressure to designate the ILC as a national project – important as international scientific institutions continue to call on the national government to make a quick decision on hosting the ILC.

The council will be open to members of the FDMILC and five groups from the LDP, including the Headquarters for Regional Development, the Headquarters for Promoting the Establishment of a Disaster Resilient Japan, and the Headquarters for Accelerating the Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Other members will come from the non-partisan Science and Technology Group of the Diet, the Tohoku ILC Promotion Council, and other experts.

These non-partisan groups of Diet members and experts will coordinate together to call on the national government to host the ILC. They will also urge that a budget item for working towards the ILC be placed in the 2019 fiscal year budget.

Chair Kawamura said, “We need to create an organizational structure with participation from all of Japan, and increase awareness of the ILC. Getting a budget for the ILC will send a message to the world from the Japanese government.”

On July 20th, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) received the final report from the Panel of Experts on the significance of the ILC. They have now asked the Science Council of Japan to review it. It is believed the national government will take this review into consideration when making their final decision on the ILC.

Ever since November of 2017, when the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA, made up of the heads of various scientific facilities around the world) approved a reduction in the initial length of the ILC from 31 km to 20 km, a growing amount of people have been calling for Japan to take the lead on the project.

It is crucial that the ILC project get placed within the next European particle physics strategy (for 2020-2024), which is why researchers have been calling on the Japanese government to make their intentions clear.

Senior Executive Director of the Iwate government, Hisashi Odaira said, “Bringing together people of all different parties will be another boost for realization of the ILC.”