JDDW -Japan Digestive Disease Week-

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JDDW President's Address

Kentaro Sugano

Kentaro Sugano
President Japan Digestive Disease Week (JDDW)

I was newly appointed as the president of Japan Digestive Disease Week (JDDW), as the successor of former President Yutaka Atomi as of January 17th, 2013. Under the leadership of former President Atomi, the membership of JDDW was expanded to four major organizations specializing digestive diseases, the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology, the Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society, the Japan Society of Hepatology, and the Japanese Society of Gastroenterological Surgery. What is more, JDDW has continued to grow and develop as one of Japan’s largest academic organizations, last year’s event marking the milestone 20th anniversary since the establishment of JDDW, at which participants exceeded 20,000 for the first time. Given the opportunity providing by the 20th anniversary, various representatives from international DDW organizations were invited to attend JDDW and discussion took place about the operational guidelines, purposes of the organizations, and future relationships between JDDW. These discussions resulted in the recognition that there are three major and pressing challenges facing JDDW: (1) Internationalization, (2) Educational activities, and (3) Social contribution. With regard to the point about internationalization, the current situation is that although the JDDW program is rich in high-level content, the presentations are not made in English, which weakens the degree of international recognition and also hinders from attracting foreign delegates to JDDW. In response to this situation, from this year we have started to increase the number of English-language sessions and to provide simultaneous interpretation to the Japanese-language sessions. Naturally, as JDDW is a gathering at which specialists from various fields in gastroenterological medicine come together, it is also necessary to establish joint programs beyond the subspecialty barriers to enable the participants to discuss interrelated issues together, bringing insights from specific areas of specialty to devise better modalities for medicine. From the perspective of scheduling and the number of presentations, it is probably also necessary for JDDW to boost efficiency and quality. In terms of educational activities, although currently there are only the educational lectures being held at JDDW, we are also looking into further expanding the program to include post-graduate courses and hands-on seminars. We believe that given its great size and scale, another direction for JDDW could be to expand as an event that not only includes debate among medical specialists, but also encourages participation by members of the public to discuss various medical issues and implement joint action. We believe that part of the JDDW’s social contribution could be to educate and provide grant-based financial assistance to young and up-coming gastroenterological physicians.

As a means of engaging in specific consideration of the various issues I have described above and further developing JDDW, former President Atomi established the Committee for future initiatives, comprised of young members who will be responsible for gastroenterological medicine in the future. It is my intention to continue the activities he initiated, to commit myself to advancing reforms in response to challenges, and to ensure that JDDW fulfills its social responsibilities. I cordially hope for your cooperation and understanding in this endeavor.

Kentaro Sugano
Japan Digestive Disease Week (JDDW)