|This article is about an organization in Higurashi When They Cry.|
This article or section contains untagged major spoilers for the original Higurashi When They Cry and possibly the console-exclusive arcs. Readers who have not completed the main story are advised not to proceed further.
The Alphabet Project is a secret organization that funds weapons research. One of the projects they sponsor is Hinamizawa Syndrome, having taken an interest in its potential as a biological weapon and providing the Irie Clinic with much of their resources.
The Alphabet Project is also known as the ABC Project, named after the types of weapons they research: Atomic, Biological, and Chemical. It was originally created and funded by Koizumi to help Japan maintain its position as a major world power following World War II by developing deterrent weapons. Hinamizawa Syndrome was originally considered for research by the Japanese army during World War II but rejected it on the grounds that it would cause issues with the Chinese due to its presumed cause in the Marco Polo Bridge Incident.
Koizumi reached out to Miyo Takano, who had inherited her grandfather's research into the syndrome, and told her that it was being reconsidered by the SDF. She obtained funding from the Alphabet Project and opened the Irie Clinic in Hinamizawa soon after.
Other members include people from public institutions such as the Defense Agency, Ministry of Health and Welfare and National Institute of Infectious Diseases.
Matsuribayashi's beginning and the Connecting Fragments section show the Alphabet Project's involvement in Hinamizawa Syndrome research and their initial partnership with Takano. When they first contacted her, some bureaucrats offered to fund Takano's research but on several conditions: Takano must be made associate researcher of the project while someone else takes the position of lead director, as they were uncomfortable with having just her on board. Takano is allowed to pick from several candidates however, and so she chooses Kyousuke Irie as the lead director. After the Irie Clinic begins operation, Takano drafts Emergency Manual 34, a plan to execute the villagers should Rika the queen carrier die. The Alphabet Project works out the finer details of the plan and provides gas canisters and other equipment.
The Alphabet Project's leadership changes a few years later, and so they switch focus to non-militaristic means of developing Japan's foreign relations. All of their sponsors are re-evaluated, with the Irie Clinic told to stop researching the syndrome as a weapon. They still expect the clinic to find a cure for it, but give them a reduced budget and want them to finish research of Hinamizawa Syndrome within three years.
This prompts Nomura and Tokyo to take matters into their own hands, as they still had interest in developing the syndrome for military applications. It's shown that Hinamizawa Syndrome was the leading project run by the Alphabet Project, and the new leaders were using it as a scapegoat to voice their displeasure with the way the old leaders were running things.
The Public Safety Division eventually uncovers the Alphabet Project's illegal spendings, with Mamoru Akasaka investigating them.