The ILC Site Evaluation Committee of Japan co-chaired by Kiyotomo Kawagoe, professor of Kyushu University and Hitoshi Yamamoto, professor of Tohoku University has assessed the two candidate sites, the Sefuri mountains in Kyushu (south island of Japan) and the Kitakami mountains in the Tokoku, northeast area, based on technical and socio-environmental criteria. The committee has met 60 times since January this year and discussed for more than 300 hours. In addition to committee meetings they formed technical and socio-environmental sub-committees, and worked with the eminent experts that sat on these committees. On 23 August, the committee announced that they unanimously concluded that the Kitakami site is the best candidate site for the ILC in Japan.
We, the Linear Collider Board, appreciate their great efforts to come to this decision on a purely scientific basis. The committee has issued a press release which sets out the reasons for this conclusion. We would also like to thank the local governments and residents of the two regions, who were deeply involved in the evaluation processes, for their sizable amount of work.
The federation of Diet members of Japan to promote the construction of an international laboratory for the Linear Collider voted well before the announcement that they would respect the conclusion of the committee based on a scientific evaluation. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the funding agency in charge of the ILC activity, also pays regard to it. Since it is not easy for the people who were involved in this process from the Kyushu area to accept the conclusion, the committee is continuously explaining the evaluating process used to reach the conclusion.
The ILC accelerator sector of the Linear Collider Collaboration is starting to work on an engineering design towards real construction in the given site conditions. We think this is a major step forward for the project.