On December 21st, the Tohoku ILC Promotion Council visited with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and the Cabinet Office to urge them to support the ILC in Japan.
The delegation was made up of Hiroaki Takahashi (honorary chairman of the Tohoku Economic Federation), Iwate Governor Takuya Tasso, Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai, Ichinoseki Mayor Osamu Katsube, Oshu Mayor Masaki Ozawa, Kunihisa Yamura (chair of the Iwate ILC Promotion Council), Atsuto Suzuki (president of Iwate Prefectural University), and Hon. Shunichi Suzuki (vice-chair of the Federation of Diet Members for the ILC, House of Representatives Iwate 2nd district). At the LDP party headquarters in Nagatacho, Tokyo, they handed their petition to Hon. Katsunobu Kato, chairperson of the General Council.
Their petition called for:
-A quick start to international negotiations on the ILC
-A clear view into the government’s basic thinking on investment with partner countries, and how human resources will be sourced from each country
-The government to place the ILC as an important project not just scientifically, but in regards to the reconstruction from the 2011 disaster, various growth strategies, and developing the rural areas of Japan
The meeting was partially closed to the press. Hon. Kato said, “We accept your petition, and will deliberate it at the party level.” Following the meeting, Governor Tasso said, “We demonstrated that the host area will do all the preparation needed in order to realize the ILC.” Governor Murai said, “They once again heard our desire for the ILC.”
At a December 21st press conference, Hon. Masahiko Shibayama, Minister of MEXT, said, “The Science Council of Japan recognized that the ILC had scientific merit within the field of particle physics. However, they had concerns regarding international cost-sharing and securing human resources. We will take that into account as we deliberate at the government level.”