Jan 09, 2024
Shinji Tanaka, MD. PhD, FJGES, FASGE
At the beginning of year 2024, I would like to offer my greetings.
The coronavirus disaster that began in the spring of 2020 has finally entered its fifth year, and last May 2023, it was re-categorized from a Category 2 infection to a Category 5 infection in Japan. In hospitals, a strict control system to prevent coronavirus infection continues to be in place. However, society has entered the post-coronavirus era not only overseas, but also in Japan; the number of overseas visitors to Japan is increasing, and scientific meetings and dinner parties are returning to the traditional face-to-face format. On the other hand, conflicts continue in Ukraine, Palestine, and other countries, and prices in Japan continue to rise due to the weak yen. It continues to be particularly difficult for Japanese to travel overseas. I sincerely hope that the conflicts will end as early as possible, and that the depreciation of the yen will improve.
Under these circumstances, the 105th Congress of JGES (25-27 May 2023) was successfully held in Tokyo, Japan, under the presidency of Dr. Takayuki Matsumoto, with the main theme of “Advance in evidence- and experience-based endoscopy” (the number of participants: 9,026 persons). The 47th JGES Seminar was held on 24 September 2023 in Tokyo in face-to-face format + on-demand video streaming of sessions of the seminar under the presidency of Dr. Tadashi Sato, and was a great success with a total of 2,324 participants. The 106th Congress of JGES (JDDW 2023, 2-4 November 2023) was held in Kobe in a hybrid format under the presidency of Dr. Akiko Shiotani, who is the first female congress president of JGES. More than 8,500 participants attended on-site and more than 21,000 participants attended the JDDW as a whole (as of 4 November 2023). Although it was a hybrid event, many people attended in person, and I felt a lively atmosphere at the venue, which confirmed to me that regular conferences had returned. The importance of face-to-face human interactions was keenly felt once again at the conference.
With approximately 35,000 members (the 5th largest number of members among the subcommittees of the Japanese Medical Association as of August 2023), the JGES faces many challenges, including the development of a medical specialty board, promotion of the JED (Japan Endoscopy Database) project, reform and enhancement of the education and training system, support for the careers of female endoscopists, further development of internationalization projects, enhancement of English sessions, development of guidelines, medical safety and ethics issues, promotion of joint industry-academia-government projects from a global perspective, and so on. On the other hand, JGES International, an international congress of JGES, is scheduled to be held independently from the Annual Meeting with Dr. Haruhiro Inoue as President (Vice-president, Dr. Hironori Yamamoto) on 5-6 September 2025 at the Toshi Center Hotel Tokyo. We expect the internationalization of JGES to be strengthened, and we hope that many Japanese will participate in this event. We are looking forward to the participation of many Japanese doctors in the conference as well as overseas doctors.
The impact factor of our journal Digestive Endoscopy: DEN (Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Takayuki Matsumoto) continues to increase steadily despite fluctuations. The editorial board of its sister journal DEN Open (Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Takao Itoi) is considering a significant reduction in transfer submission fees from DEN to make it easier to submit manuscripts. In addition, DEN Open was included in ESCI as of 21 June 2023 and all articles published in DEN Open starting with articles in the first issue are in the process of being uploaded to the Web of Science as of this writing . The first impact factor of DEN Open will be awarded in 2024.
This year, the 107th Congress of JGES will be held in Tokyo from 30 May to 1 June 2024 under the presidency of Dr. Atsushi Irisawa, the 48th JGES Seminar will be held on 22 September 2024 under the presidency of Dr. Junko Fujisaki in face-to-face format + on-demand video streaming of sessions of the seminar , and the 108th Congress of JGES (JDDW 2024, 31 October – 2 November 2024) will be held in Kobe under the presidency of Dr. Naohisa Yahagi. We look forward to participation and active discussions among many members.
Finally, we will continue to do our best for the further development of our society this year. I would like to ask for the continued support and cooperation of our members including overseas doctors.