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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 August 21 - 27  > Scientists concerned over Japan’s hosting ILC project
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2013 August 21 - 27 [ECONOMY]

Scientists concerned over Japan’s hosting ILC project

August 24, 2013
Japanese scientists raise concerns over negative influences Japan may have by hosting the International Linear Collider (ILC), a multinational scientific project aimed at uncovering mysteries of the birth of the universe.

Japan’s site evaluation committee on August 23 announced that it has picked as an ILC candidate site the Kitakami mountain area in both Iwate and Miyagi prefectures in the Tohoku region.

The ILC is to be a 30 km-long particle accelerator built in a tunnel 100 meters below ground. The estimated total cost for the project is 1.27 trillion yen.

In its statement scheduled to be released in September, the Science Council of Japan is expected to say that it is premature for Japan to be the host nation of the ILC based on the following reasons: Japan may have to pay more than 80% of the total cost for the project; the vast amount of payment would bring negative impacts on other academic fields in the country; and Japan is not ready to secure the commitment of the approximately 1,000 researchers and engineers necessary for building the underground linear accelerator.

Campaigns to win a domestic ticket to be a home of the ILC project had been conducted by local municipalities and economic groups in the Kitakami district as well as the Sefuri mountain district in the Kyushu region, an alternate candidate site which just lost the contest.

In the two districts, candidates of the Liberal Democratic Party, the promoter of large public works projects, pledged to promote the campaign in order to win seats in the House of Councilors election in July.

In Miyagi Prefecture, where Governor Murai Yoshihiro has aggressively led the local campaign, the prefectural assembly in March adopted a resolution calling on the ILC project to be based in the Tohoku region as a symbol of efforts to reconstruct the region from the 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami.

The Japanese Communist Party opposed the resolution, stating that the reconstruction work must be focused on rebuilding people’s livelihoods rather than focusing on the questionable economic effects and profits of large industries.
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