ICFA responds to Japan's interest in the International Linear Collider and encourages its realisation


The International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) has issued a statement following a declaration from the Japanese government on March 7th confirming its interest in the International Linear Collider (ILC), but not issuing a proposal to host the future project. ICFA stated its continuing support for the ILC and its encouragement of the collider’s timely realisation as an international project led by Japanese initiative.

The statement was issued after the 83rd ICFA meeting held in Tokyo, Japan from 7 to 8 March 2019 with an evening reception on March 6. In the morning of the first day, in a session of the Linear Collider Board (LCB), with participation of the ICFA members, an official of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) explained Japan’s view in regard to the International Linear Collider (ILC). Dr. Keisuke Isogai, Director-General of MEXT’s Research, Promotion Bureau, handed a letter to Professor Tatsuya Nakada, Chair of LCB, stating that although the ministry has not yet reached the decision to issue a declaration for hosting the ILC, it will continue to discuss the ILC project with other governments with an interest in the project.

“We have been very encouraged talking with Japanese Diet members and senior-level MEXT officials, which showed that the political and executive environment in Japan is evolving quite rapidly towards the ILC,” said Geoffrey Taylor, Director of ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale (CoEPP), Australia, and current chair of ICFA. “We’re still very hopeful that in not too long a time we will end up with a positive response to hosting the ILC from Japan.”

The full text of the ICFA statement

ICFA Statement on the MEXT’s View with regards to the ILC Project

On the occasion of its annual meeting in Tokyo, March 6-8, 2019, the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) thanks Dr. Keisuke Isogai, Director General, Research Promotion Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), for his inaugural presentation to the Linear Collider Board (LCB) and ICFA. ICFA views the statement of continuing interest in the ILC within MEXT and related ministries and agencies as an important milestone along the path to the ILC. ICFA also thanks Hon. Takeo Kawamura, Member of the House of Representatives and Chair of the Federation of Diet Members for the ILC, for affirming support for the ILC within the Diet in his address to ICFA/LCB on March 6.

Discovered at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in 2012, the Higgs boson has been hailed as the most important discovery in particle physics in decades of research. This unique particle offers a portal for understanding the fundamental laws of Nature and is expected to be a great new tool for discovery.

ICFA confirms the international consensus that the highest priority for the next global machine is a “Higgs Factory” capable of precision studies of the Higgs boson. At this ICFA meeting options for a Higgs Factory were discussed — the ILC, as well as other collider technologies.

ICFA reaffirms the scientific significance of the ILC and that the ILC is in a sufficient state of technical readiness for approval for construction.

Both the European Strategy for Particle Physics Report of 2013 and the United States Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) Report of 2014 had expressed support for the initiative of the Japanese physics community to host the ILC in Japan.

ICFA recognises that although MEXT has interest in the ILC, and will continue to discuss the project with other governments, Japan is not yet able to declare its willingness to host the ILC. A clear statement of Japan’s position towards hosting the ILC would have had significant impact in the ongoing discussions on the formulation of the European Strategy for Particle Physics Update.

ICFA notes with satisfaction the great progress of the various options for Higgs factories proposed across the world. All options will be considered in the European Strategy for Particle Physics Update and by ICFA.

Tokyo, March 2019


About ICFA

ICFA, the International Committee for Future Accelerators, was created to facilitate international collaboration in the construction and use of accelerators for high energy physics. The Committee has 16 members, selected primarily from the regions most deeply involved in high-energy physics.

About the ILC

The Linear Collider Collaboration (LCC) is an international endeavour that brings together about 2400 scientists and engineers from more than 300 universities and laboratories in 49 countries and regions. Consisting of two linear accelerators that face each other, the ILC will accelerate and collide electrons and their anti-particles, positrons. Superconducting accelerator cavities operating at temperatures near absolute zero give the particles more and more energy until they collide in the detectors at the center of the machine.

At the height of operation, bunches of electrons and positrons will collide roughly 7,000 times per second at a total collision energy of 250 GeV, creating a surge of new particles that are tracked and registered in the ILC’s detectors. Each bunch will contain 20 billion electrons or positrons concentrated into an area much smaller than that of a human hair.

This means a very high rate of collisions. This high “luminosity”, when combined with the very precise interaction of two point-like colliding particles that annihilate each other, will allow the ILC to deliver a wealth of data to scientists that will allow the properties of particles, such as the Higgs boson, recently discovered at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, to be measured precisely. It could also shed light on new areas of physics such as dark matter.

The ILC had originally been designed with a collision energy of 500 GeV. The new version of the collider makes it less costly and faster to realise.

The research and development work that is being done for accelerators and detectors around the world and to take the linear collider project to the next step is coordinated by the Linear Collider Collaboration headed by former LHC Project Manager Lyn Evans. The Linear Collider Board (LCB), representing ICFA, will provide oversight to the LCC, chaired by Tatsuya Nakada, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.


  • ・Linear Collider Communicators (communicators@linearcollider.org):
  • ・Perrine Royole-Degieux, CNRS/IN2P3, France +33 4 73 40 54 59, royole@in2p3.fr
  • ・Rika Takahashi, KEK, Japan, +81 29 979 6292, rika.takahashi@kek.jp
  • ・Barbara Warmbein, DESY, Germany, +49 40 8998 1847, barbara.warmbein@desy.de
  • ・KEK Press Office, KEK, Japan, press@kek.jp