The 88th Congress of the Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy SocietyPresident Koji Yakabi
(Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology,
Saitama Medical Center, Saitama Medical University)
I am extremely honored and truly grateful to my fellow members for giving me the opportunity to be the president of the 88th Congress of the Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society, which will take place in October 2014. I humbly pledge to do my very best to fully prepare for the event and offer a warm welcome to all of the participants on the day. The 88th congress, to be held during the Japan Digestive Disease Week 2014 (JDDW 2014) in Kobe, will be hosted at the Kobe Portopia Hotel, the Kobe International Exhibition Hall, and the Kobe International Conference Center. I hope you will make most of this opportunity to explore the international city of Kobe, where you can enjoy views of the surrounding Rokko Mountains and Osaka Bay, especially in the time of the year best suited to study. I also hope you will observe the advancements in medicine during the day and enjoy the exquisite international food on offer during the evening, and use this experience to fuel future examination and treatment activities.
As you know, gastroenterological endoscopy in Japan has made a significant contribution to the world. The dedication and constant efforts of many pioneers of gastroenterological endoscopy, doctors who are currently working in the field, and excellent equipment manufacturers have enabled us to detect early malignant tumors naturally and treat them more easily and brought about the use of life saving endoscopy for less invasive treatment as well as hemostasis through endoscopic dissection. In the late 1970s when I first worked in endoscopy, recording images with an external camera using 16 mm film was the norm. Nowadays, videoscope technology has been introduced in many health care facilities, and magnified endoscopy, Narrow Band Imaging, and laser endoscopy allow doctors to locate minute cancers that would not have been detected before, and to dissect expanding early-stage cancer lesions up to sm1 below the mucous membrane using ESD and other treatments. Medicine advances very quickly and this is like a different world to me. Nonetheless, these advanced techniques and technologies are used to link doctors and patients. When I remember that this is a benevolent act from one person to another, I realize that providing “benevolent endoscopy” is very important. In addition, benefitting as we do today from the advances in state-of-the-art computer-controlled equipment, we should reflect on the history of the pioneers who contributed so greatly to progress in endoscopy through their constant search for and struggles with the meanings of their findings and problems in treatment. We must avoid depending solely on the functions of the equipment, and rather provide “endoscopy with thought.” Based on these ideas, I would like to set “benevolent endoscopy” and “endoscopy with thought” as our goals. While these advanced technologies have been developed and established in Japan, they are in use in only a limited number of countries and regions around the world, and have yet to be globally evaluated. Even in some parts of Japan outside our major cities, a shortage of specialists prevents patients from fully benefiting from advanced endoscopy. Therefore, the future of education in endoscopy is also crucial to the development of local medical care. I hope this congress will attract as many doctors as possible to further spread the use of advanced endoscopy, and that it will be a great occasion to acquire information and theories that will aid improvements in examination and treatment and bring a brighter future. In the end, it is my hope that this event will develop the doctors of our society from the perspective of lifetime education. For the 2014 congress, we will focus on endoscopy’s international contribution because Japanese endoscopic technologies can surely constitute a great contribution to the world in the heated debate over the internationalization of medicine. The event includes lectures by the world’s leading doctors who are pioneers in this field, as well as international symposiums and ESD hands-on seminars. I am convinced that this is the place to show Japan’s advanced endoscopic technologies to our friends from all over the world. To wrap up, I plan to make the most of the one year preparation period to bring about a quality congress. I hope many doctors will participate in the congress and enjoy this four-day academic event on endoscopy. Thank you.