Although the Japanese government has suspended funding for the Thirty Meter Telescope project, the country is still committed to the project, represenatives say.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Japan has reduced its yearly funding for the project because of the continued stalemate between the project and its opponents, who blocked Maunakea Access Road in protest for six months last year.
Despite this, the country is still committed to the project, according to a statement from Tomonori Usuda, the telescope’s project manager for Japan.
“We need to slow down the development activities in Japan for the fiscal year,” read Usuda’s statement. “However, this slowdown will not impact the overall schedule of the project significantly because Japan has steadily developed its contributions (primary mirror segments and final design of the telescope structure) so far. More importantly, the Japanese government is still strongly committed to the TMT project in Hawaii, and its position is fully aligned with the (TMT International Observatory)’s one that Hawaii remains the preferred site for the TMT.”