Message from JDDW President

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to the 24th Japan Digestive Disease Week (JDDW), to be held in Kobe from the 3rd-6th (Thursday-Sunday) of November, 2016. As in the past, JDDW will be comprised of the annual gatherings of four member societies, namely the Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology (JSGE, Meeting President: Kazuichi Okazaki), the Congress of the Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society (JGES, Congress President: Kazuma Fujimoto), the General Meeting of the Japan Society of Hepatology (JSH, Meeting President: Tadatoshi Takayama), and the Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Gastroenterological Surgery (JSGS, Meeting President: Wataru Kimura), plus the General Meeting of the Japanese Society of Gastrointestinal Cancer Screening (JSGCS, Meeting President: Ryoichi Nozaki).

JDDW is one of the largest academic conventions in Japan, drawing more than 20,000 participants each year. For JDDW 2016, we are very pleased to announce that Asian Pacific Digestive Week (APDW) will be held semi-concurrently for the first time in nine years. APDW is a conference held jointly by four medical organizations in gastroenterology, digestive endoscopy, hepatology, and digestive surgery in the Asia-Pacific region. More than 3,000 participants have been attending its recent yearly meetings, and this year, distinguished digestive health professionals not only from Asia-Pacific but also from the United States and Europe will be joining the meeting as lecturers. The JDDW being held in conjunction with APDW is expected to boost the number of non-Japanese participants in the English sessions at JDDW, resulting in a great advancement of JDDW's internationalization. This change will also bring an enhanced opportunity for JDDW to make Japan's advanced clinical gastroenterology and related research known internationally.

Medical professionals attending JDDW would also benefit from hearing the many world-renowned leaders speaking at APDW, as well as from socializing with their peers from the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region. I would strongly encourage you to sign up for APDW, too.

We set this year's registration fee higher than in past years, due to the participation of APDW, but to make up for that, we are planning to set up an Asian food village where you can freely sample delicacies at various stalls serving diverse Asian food. We also plan to have fun events such as games and street performance just like you can experience a Japanese festival scene.

JDDW this year is again packed with excellent programs. Symposia, panel discussions, and workshops at JDDW will be covering the latest issues in gastroenterology. There will also be “Integrated Programs” in which interdisciplinary discussions of internal medicine and surgery on various topics take place, and “Seminars on Medical Issues” where we will again be discussing challenging issues associated with the upcoming changes in the medical specialties system, and other current concerns. We will also host the “Medical Staff Program,” which we started in 2015, where nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, and other medical staff come together to discuss how healthcare could be improved. This program was highly appreciated as a valuable inter-professional discussion opportunity. We are considering opening up all other programs of the JDDW to our non-physician participants, who are currently restricted to taking part only in the “Medical Staff Program.”

With all these exciting programs planned, we are expecting a great increase in attendance. Those who are also participating in the APDW programs will be privileged to have even more intensive learning experiences by attending lectures on diverse and innovative topics which are rarely discussed in Japan.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to Prof. Kazuichi Okazaki, who made the greatest effort as Chair of the JDDW 2016 Steering Committee and the APDW 2016 Local Organizing Committee in planning and putting together these two major conferences, as well as to the Presidents of the annual meetings, and the members of each society’s Program Committee.

We, the JDDW Directors and the staff of the JDDW secretariat, are committed more than ever to making JDDW 2016 a fruitful conference for both Japanese and international participants. We look forward to seeing you at this historic joint conference of APDW 2016 and JDDW 2016.

Kentaro Sugano
President, Japan Digestive Disease Week

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