ILC NewsLine
Japanese Diet Members started a workshop on ILC

The Japanese Diet members held their first workshop to study the social impacts and benefits of the ILC. A view of the Japanese capitol hill can be seen out the window.

On June 15 last year, the Japanese "Federation of Diet members to promote the realisation of ILC" was formed (See NewsLine from 22 June 2006). The Diet members of the federation held a workshop with ILC researchers on 22 January 2007 in Nagatacho near Tokyo. Nobel laureate Masatoshi Koshiba and Professor Kazuo Nishimura (Kyoto University), who is a famous economist and author of the book "University students who cannot calculate fraction numbers", gave a lecture to the Diet members.

Prof. Koshiba pointed out the relationship between elementary particle physics and cosmology, then emphasised the importance of the fundamental sciences. "Establishing a strong relationship with Asia and other foreign countries in the world is crucial for realising this project," he stated.

Prof. Nishimura introduced various surveys of how young generations are underperforming in the areas of science education, comparing the results of the surveys from various countries. He also emphasised the importance of the fundamental sciences, and physics in particular, for strongly helping the economy. He expects that ILC will play a great role to attract the young generations to these fields of science.

Takeo Kawamura, secretary of the federation and the former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, commented that Japan should better promote the collaboration of cosmology and elementary particle physics, as is done in other countries. Fukushiro Nukaga, the deputy chair of the federation and former Director General of the Defense Agency, commented that more efforts would be necessary to account for the large amount of budget required for the ILC, and said the federation will accelerate this activity with the researchers.

The federation will continue this workshop periodically to study the social impacts and benefits the ILC would provide.

-- Satoru Yamashita