I am proud to announce that the very first Asia Europe Pacific School of High Energy Physics will take place this year in Fukuoka Prefecture. We are honored to welcome all of the participants; world-distinguished scientists, talented young researchers and promising graduate students from Asia-Pacific as well as Europe.
Fukuoka prefecture directly faces China and the Korean Peninsula across the Genkai Sea. This geographical advantage makes Fukuoka a suitable gateway for foreign diplomacy. In fact, Fukuoka has historically been a center of many international exchanges since ancient times, and has greatly contributed to the development of Japan’s history and culture.
Today, Fukuoka provides an ideal environment for foreign exchanges thanks to Fukuoka Airport, Hakata Port and other conveniences. Fukuoka Airport is conveniently located right next to the center of the city, and is known as one of the most convenient airports in the world. Hakata Port boasts the most international passengers, of all the seaports in Japan.
Thanks to its geographical advantages, the northern part of Kyushu centering around Fukuoka Prefecture has been able to develop sophisticated metropolitan functions. It also hosts many academic research institutes and diverse industrial enterprises.
In addition, we have an ongoing project called the Northern Kyushu Science Cites’ Plan, in which the entire Northern Kyushu aims at becoming as an international hub of western Japan in research and development, international exchanges, and academic culture. Our objective is to establish an international network in Northern Kyushu that functions as an academic and cultural center.
Fukuoka Prefecture is also actively involved in the field of high energy physics. We are a participant in the Advanced Accelerator Association Promoting Basic Science Towards the Next Generation, which has been established jointly by all prefectures in the Kyushu-Yamaguchi region and the business community. There, we are making an effort to invite the International Linear Collider (ILC) project.
The ILC is a research institute which investigates some of the questions surrounding the earliest moments of our universe. They will build only one research center in the world. In other words, this facility will be the home of science and technology where many scientists and engineers in the world will gather. The Sefuri Mountain Region, which extends over Fukuoka and Saga Prefectures, is one of the prospective candidate sites in Japan for the ILC. We believe that the invitation of the ILC will be a contributing factor in the establishment of Fukuoka as a city of international research and education, and the center of higher exploration of 21st century science.
Finally, I hope the world’s leading scientists and young researchers across borders will experience beneficial exchanges in both academic and personal endeavors during this Asia Europe Pacific School of High Energy Physics, and that the school will yield successful outcomes and achievements.