Towards Hosting the ILC: Mayors of Five Towns and Cities Discuss Future Vision at Mizusawa, Oshu Symposium

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo. Read the original here.

“Realization of the ILC and Prospects for Local Community,” a symposium on bringing the ILC to Japan hosted by Iwate ILC Accelerator Science Promotion Council, was held on July 25th at Z Hall in Mizusawa, Oshu City for around 400 participants. The five mayors of Ofunato, Rikuzentakata, Sumita, Kanegasaki and Oshu discussed the current situation and issues of their municipalities, presenting their visions for the future with regional characteristics and the ILC in mind. These municipalities are connected by multiple national roads, so the panelists also considered coordination between the coast and inland. Chairman of Japan Policy Council Masuda Hiroya (former Governor of Iwate) who had come to Oshu for a lecture made a surprise appearance, calling for “Going ahead with preparations for receiving researchers and for possible effects of the ILC on the assumption that it is coming.” President of Iwate Prefectural University Atsuto Suzuki gave a lecture on how an international research facility should be formed.

Listening to the mayors’ discussion made me [author of piece] think that there are two kinds of positive side effects from the construction of the ILC. One is primary effects, such as job creation, effects on industry, and international exchange with other cultures. Another is secondary effects, a good example of which would be Niseko in Hokkaido. The people who came to ski there didn`t just ski and go back home, but those who liked the area would build vacation homes there.

If you look around the ILC candidate site, it has mountains, the sea, rivers, hot springs, and even sake. There are no other places like this in the world. If we can show people who come here the good thing about this area, we could become a resort for the world. More people from within Japan, too, would think about coming to Iwate instead of going on a trip overseas. We need to make efforts and also think about effects beyond the primary ones.