Hello, everyone. I am Tooru Shimosegawa, President of the Organization of JDDW. As of August 2020, COVID-19 continues unabated around the world, causing a grave social problem. I would like to sincerely express my respect to all health care professionals who are battling day and night against COVID-19, and hope that this infectious disease will be brought to an end as soon as possible. In Japan, as in other countries, the government’s request for curtailment of activities in the wake of the spread of the disease has forced various scientific conferences and meetings to be cancelled or postponed or to be organized in different formats, raising concerns about stagnation of scientific activities. Against this backdrop, the Organization of JDDW is making preparations so that JDDW can be held in the next fiscal year in the regular format, bearing in mind the importance of JDDW as a platform for sharing the latest information on digestive diseases, for presenting and deliberating on research results, as well as for educating gastroenterologists.

JDDW 2021 will be held over four days from November 4 (Thu.) to 7 (Sun.), 2021, at Kobe Convention Center and other venues. The general programs will run over the first three days, and the fourth day will be dedicated to educational lectures. For JDDW 2021, Professor Tetsuo Takehara of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Osaka University will host the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology; Professor Hironori Yamamoto of the Division of Gastroenterology at Jichi Medical University will host the 102nd Congress of the Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society; Professor Hiroko Iijima of the Department of Gastroenterology at Hyogo College of Medicine will host the 25th General Meeting of the Japan Society of Hepatology; and Professor Masafumi Inomata of the Department of Gastroenterological and Pediatric Surgery at Oita University will host the 19th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Gastroenterological Surgery. In addition, Professor Chisato Hamashima of the Faculty of Medical Technology at Teikyo University will host the 59th General Meeting of the Japanese Society of Gastrointestinal Cancer Screening. The hosts of the respective meetings are currently working together under the Chair of the Steering Committee, Professor Tetsuo Takehara, to make progress in the preparations.

As a new program in JDDW 2021, JDDW is planning to organize a hands-on seminar. A newly established committee is working out the details to make this seminar an attractive opportunity for gastroenterologists from Japan and abroad to acquire new skills. We will further enhance Strategic International Session, which was launched last year, to promote internationalization of JDDW. At the same time, we hope to assemble the latest hot topics, including COVID-19, in the Integrated Program, Seminar on Medical Issues, Medical Staff Program, and Program for Women in Gastroenterological Field, which are all hosted by JDDW. For the theme sessions, general sessions, and international sessions of the respective societies, we will endeavor to provide leading-edge information relevant to the clinical settings and other contents you may find satisfying. The daily news will run a pre-event feature to showcase the appeal of JDDW 2021. During JDDW, the daily news will highlight notable programs of the day as well as information of particular importance from the previous day’s programs in a newspaper format.

As in previous years, JDDW 2021 offers various awards and grants, including the Young Investigator Award, the Excellent Poster Award, the President Award, the Best Presenter Award in International Session, the Travel Award Program, and the Travel Grant. These awards and grants support our efforts to give added vigor to JDDW.

We will make concerted efforts to prepare for JDDW 2021 to ensure a dynamic and outstanding event that will symbolize our feat in overcoming COVID-19. We look forward to having many of you participate in JDDW 2021.