Last Update:5/19/2020


Greeting Message from the Chairman

 I, Akihito Yokoyama, assumed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Japanese Respiratory Society in May 2020. The Japanese Respiratory Society was originally founded as the Japan Society for Diseases of the Chest in 1961, adopted the current name in 1997 and became recognized as a General Incorporated Association in 2002, an entity making even greater contributions to our society. Over the course of our history that spans about 60 years, many of our predecessors have made dedicated efforts and contributions to the advancement of our Society, turning it into an academic society that represents the field of respiratory illnesses in Japan.

 Recognizing the significance of our history, I wish to make a firm commitment to progressing numerous reforms and initiatives to evolve ourselves into an "energetic academic society that makes social contributions," as promoted by a series of past Chairmen.  I have served as a Senior Director for three terms (6 years) under the chairman of Dr. Michiaki Mishima, Dr. Shu Hashimoto and Dr. Yoshinori Hasegawa.  When Dr. Hasegawa was at the helm, the Society set seven goals for fulfilling our social responsibilities.  Continuity is important to achieve and materialize those goals.  Some say that the chairmanship term of two years is too short, but I plan to develop a mechanism for setting specific targets and continuously working toward the goals.  To this end, I believe it is an urgent task to set specific targets for the next five to six years.

 The Japanese Respiratory Society is a General Incorporated Association, which does not distribute profits by definition.  Yet, it is our fundamental approach of significance to maximize academic "gains" and distribute them back to our members and society in general.  We wish to also promote research under partnership between the industrial and academic sectors or between our members to create innovation.  With the Society's committee structures becoming increasingly rigid, I believe it is time to clarify the mechanism of Committee member selection and the roles of regional offices, while building an operational environment that facilitates the materialization of suggestions from junior and female members.  Having promoted gender equality, the Society should continue to advance it further and achieve true gender equality within our organization, as promoted as one of the Sustainable Development Goals.

 Today, the pandemic of COVID-19 is raging around the world, with the number of Japanese cases topping 15,000.  The results of today's survey have highlighted the fact that our members are working at the frontline to deal with the outbreak despite feeling various types of stress.  The results have also found that COVID-19 is affecting not only university education but also regular medical consultation at 70% of facilities.  The Japanese Respiratory Society is formulating its response as a matter of urgency.  We are expected to utilize academic knowledge and skills we have to contribute to society.  For further advancement of our Society and to appropriately deal with the current challenge that is COVID-19, I call on all members to amass our capabilities to rise to the occasion.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Akihito Yokoyama, Kochi Medical School, Kochi University

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