Last Update:12/4/2007

History of the Japanese Respiratory Society

The year 1960 was an extremely significant year for the study of the respiratory tract in our country. In April of that year, the 35th meeting of the Japan Tuberculosis Society was held in Fukuoka, and there were proactive discussions concerning the foundation of several societies that are making important contribution today. These are the Lung Emphysema Research Association (presently the COPD Research Association), the Lung Function Seminar (presently the Clinical Respiratory Function Society), and the Japan Society for Diseases of the Chest (presently the Japanese Respiratory Society). In the following year, in 1961, the establishment of all of these societies was realized.

In October of 1960, the First Symposium on Diseases of the Chest was held in Nagoya, on which occasion it was decided to establish the Japan Society of Diseases of the Chest. The Second Symposium on Diseases of the Chest held in October 1961 in Tokyo was designated as the First Congress of the Japan Society for Diseases of the Chest. Since then, the general annual meeting of the society has been held every year, and in 2005, the 45th annual meeting will be celebrated.

Before 1955, pulmonary tuberculosis occupied a major position in respiratory tract studies in Japan, but thereafter the importance of other chronic diseases came to be recognized. At around that time, pulmonary function examination methodologies began to be introduced and there was a surge in research on respiratory physiology. The importance of non-respiratory lung function was gradually increasingly recognized and there was great progress in research related to pulmonary surfactants, function of the lung as a secretory organ, and progress was also made in cell and molecular biology of the lung. These came to occupy the main themes of the annual meetings and academic lecture sessions.

In 1976, 15 years after the establishment of our society, our members numbered 3,030, and now we have grown to a membership of over 10,000. In 1989, we introduced the board-registered tuition system (presently the specialist registration system) and in 1997, we changed the name to the Japanese Respiratory Society. In that year, we also announced our support for smoking cessation. In 1999, we designated the 1st of August as the Day of the Lung and have continued to strive for social education and enlightenment. We became recognized as a social foundation in 2002, and published our declaration against smoking in 2003.

Progress has also been made in the international area, with meetings and initiatives beginning in 1986 concerning the development of an international society for the Asian-Pacific region, and in 1988 the first congress of the Asian-Pacific Society of Respirology was held in Tokyo. In 2003, the Japanese Respiratory Society joined the APSR en bloc. At the 41st Annual Congress, we began our integrated international program, which we have been continuing with exchange and liaison with the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS).

The Japanese Respiratory Society is not devoted only to its own development and growth, but is also extremely dedicated to cooperating with patient groups, citizens groups and any other groups whatsoever with an interest in respiratory diseases, in order to work together towards better understanding and better communications and liaisons to promote the study of respiratory diseases by disseminating information and promoting academic achievements in this field.

Date Item
1960, October The first symposium on Diseases of the Chest (held in Nagoya, decision made to establish the Japan Society of Chest Diseases)
1961, October Foundation of the Japan Society of Chest Diseases (1st Annual Conference)
1971, February Establishment of the Planning Committee
1976, June Publication of 1st edition of the “Technical Lexicon for Diseases of the Chest”
1978 Establishment of the Continuing Medical Education Committee
1980, April 1st Seminar on Diseases of the Chest
1982, April 2nd edition of the “Technical Lexicon for Diseases of the Chest”
1983 Establishment of the Committee for the Organization of the Specialist System
1984 Establishment of the International Relations Committee
1984, April Decision to establish the International Respiratory Society for the Asian region (on the occasion of the 24th Annual Conference)
1988, October 1st Conference of the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (in Japan)
1989, April Establishment of the Board Registration System for Diseases of the Chest (at the 29th Annual Conference)
1993, February Report by the Clinical Pulmonary Functions Committee: “Standard criteria for clinical pulmonary function examinations in Japanese”
1994, May Report by the Clinical Pulmonary Functions Committee: “Proposal concerning apnea testing in decision-making on brain death”
1995, April 1st edition of “Policy on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and bronchial asthma”
1996, April 1st APSR Workshop (on the occasion of the 36th Annual Conference)
1996, November Publication of the 3rd edition of the “Technical Lexicon for Diseases of the Chest”
1997, April The name of the society is changed from the Japan Society of Chest Diseases to the Japanese Respiratory Society (on the occasion of the 37th Annual Conference)
1997, April Report on Smoking Cessation of the Japanese Respiratory Society (37th Annual Conference)
1998, November 1st Japan-Korea Respiratory Symposium
1999, March 1st edition of the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of COPD
1999, May Board of Directors decides to designate the 1st of August as “Lung Day”
1999, August Press conference on the designation of “Lung Day” (at the Japan Press Club)
1999, October 2nd Japan-Korea Respiratory Symposium (Nagasaki)
2000, March Publication of the 1st edition of the guidelines for management of respiratory infections “Guidelines for the management of community-acquired pneumonia in adults”
2001, April Publication by the Clinical Pulmonary Functions Committee: “Standard criteria for spirography and arterial blood gas partial pressure measurement in Japanese”
2001, April 1st International Program (41st Annual Conference, Tokyo)
2001, April 1st Leadership Meeting of ATS, ERS, and APSR
2001, November 3rd Japan-Korea Respiratory Symposium (Korea)
2002, March 1st edition of “Guidelines for the management of hospital-acquired pneumonia”: guidelines for management of respiratory infections
2002, April 2nd International Program (42nd Annual Conference, Sendai)
2002 Joined research group report: “Guidelines for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension” concerning the diagnosis and treatment of circulatory diseases
2002, June “Statement concerning respiratory rehabilitation” by the guidelines control committee
2002, July General meeting for the establishment of the Japanese Respiratory Society Foundation
2002, August “Report on the approval of the Japanese Respiratory Society Foundation” concerning the establishment of the Japanese Respiratory Society Foundation
2003, March Publication of the Japanese Respiratory Society “Anti-tobacco statement” (at the 43rd Annual Conference)
2003, March 3rd International Program (at the 43rd Annual Conference, Fukuoka)
2003, March 4th Japan-Korea Respiratory Symposium (Fukuoka)
2003, June Publication of the 1st edition of the guidelines for management of respiratory infections “Guidelines for the management of respiratory tract infection”
2003, June The JRS joints the APSR en bloc
2004, March/April 4th International Program (at the 44th Annual Conference, Tokyo)
2004, April Publication of the 2nd edition of “Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of COPD”
2004, May Establishment of the Japanese Respiratory Disease Patient Joint Association
2004, September Publication of the 1st edition of “Manual for the diagnosis and treatment of idiopathic interstitial pneumonitis”

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