Greeting Message from the Chairman

Since May 2022, I have been appointed as the Chairman of the board of directors of The Japanese Respiratory Society. The Society was established in 1961 as the "Japan Society of Chest Diseases". It was renamed to the current name in 1997 and became a general incorporated association in 2002. The purpose of the society is "to advance and disseminate respiratory medicine and thereby contribute to the development of science in Japan by presenting research on respiratory medicine and its applications, exchanging knowledge, and cooperating with members and with related academic societies in Japan and abroad". Recently, during the term of Chairman Yoshinori Hasegawa, seven goals of the society were set along with the mission and vision, and during the term of Chairman Akihito Yokoyama, more specific goals for the next five years were proposed. Although the term of office for the Society's board of directors is only two years, this indicates that we develop our business not only with a short-term plan but also from a long-term perspective, and we hope to contribute to the realization and further development of these goals together with all of our members.

The respiratory system is a complex and systemic disease area that includes a wide variety of acute to chronic diseases, as well as comorbidities and complications of multiple lung diseases and diseases in other organs that can affect the entire body. For this reason, respiratory medicine requires collaboration with other departments and cooperation among multiple professions, along with regional cooperation including collaboration between hospitals/between hospitals and clinics. In addition, because of the diversity and complexity of these diseases, there are many unsolved problems, so it is necessary to bring together the wisdom of many different departments and fields of medicine to research aimed at solving these problems.

Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has been continuing since the beginning of 2020 in our country. The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on daily medical practice, research, and educational activities, and there is still no clear way out of the situation. This can be seen as a reflection of the unique characteristics of the respiratory system, which is constantly affected by both the external and internal environments of the body, including infection control, diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia, respiratory management, and the relationship with the immune system. It is thus conceivable that the importance of respiratory medicine is being reemphasized in the field. In Japan, where the population is aging, there is a great need for medical treatment and research on malignant lung diseases and chronic respiratory diseases. At the same time, response to COVID-19 is required, and I believe that expectations from society may be increasing along with the many issues that pulmonologists are faced with.

On the other hand, there are far fewer respiratory specialists than in other internal medicine fields, and there are situations in which we cannot keep up with the demands of society. While responding to the new specialist system, the society must also make efforts to develop human resources who will lead the next generation, and ensure gender equality and career support for young physicians.

Although there are many issues that need to be addressed, I believe that this is a time for the Society to forge rapid progress and fulfill its mission by strongly promoting cooperation with societies and related organizations in Japan and overseas, and by creating new ideas, technologies, and values.

In order for The Japanese Respiratory Society to meet the demands of society and fulfill its responsibilities, I hope that all members will work together and make efforts to contribute to the development of respiratory disease science, communicate it to society, and pass it on to the next generation.

Your continued guidance and support would be appreciated.

Toyohiro Hirai
Chairman, The Japanese Respiratory Society