Calling for Siting of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor Project in Japan

July 31, 1995

  1. Cooperative research on development of thermonuclear technology is currently being conducted by the quadra-lateral high-tech world leaders: the United States, the European Union, Russia and Japan. Thermonuclear technology is expected to serve as an inexhaustible energy source for the future and to be safe, since its fuel source is abundant in sea water.

  2. The quadra-lateral powers are making an unprecedented joint effort in working together on the industrial design and construction of an experimental thermonuclear reactor. The undertaking of this project represents a new stage of international collaboration on nuclear fusion research and Japan is expected to play and important role in its success.

  3. Construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor or ITER, under international cooperation, is slated for 1998 and we believe siting the reactor in Japan will lay an important foundation for the development of the nation's technological frontier. Furthermore, it will enable Japan to make a major contribution to the development of international science and technology.

    The development of thermonuclear fusion technology, through the siting of the ITER in Japan will also encourage expansion of the science and technology infrastructure within other Asian nations experiencing rapid economic expansion. We hope that this project will provide a solution to the growing energy demands and critical environmental problems in Asia, which are increasingly affecting the entire global community.

  4. Keidanren is therefore calling for nationwide support of the international plan for construction of the ITER and is advocating that Japan offer to serve as the location of the project. The government must consider this project a key social and economic component of its "Public Investment Basic Plan" and realize that it will provide the nation with an excellent foundation for further research and development.

    Remaining mindful that the ITER will be a jointly shared achievement, the government must take decisive action, including making the necessary budgetary commitments, immediately, to ensure the siting of the ITER in Japan.

  5. Potential sites for location of the ITER include the Mutsu-Ogawara Industrial Area and the Tomakomai Tohbu Industrial Base, both of which offer vast amounts of land and excellent development prospects as the new resources/energy/environment related R&D center of Japan.

    Without waiting for any official action on the part of the government, Keidanren is beginning its campaign to create a favorable climate to support the siting of the ITER in Japan, through promotion of a "support system" for ITER research and through preparation of a suitable site for the project.

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