Welcome Message

The 62nd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Dialysis Therapy
Congress Chair: Hidetomo Nakamoto
Department of General Internal Medicine, Saitama Medical University

The 62nd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Dialysis Therapy will held in PACIFICO Yokohama in Minato Mirai, Yokohama, from Friday, June 16 to Sunday, June 18, 2017.

The Japanese Society for Dialysis Therapy (JSDT) is one of Japan's largest medical associations with approximately 17,000 members (including both individual and institutional members), and its Annual Meeting is a well known conference that brings together around 20,000 medical professionals concerned with dialysis therapy in Japan. As of April 14, 2017, over 3,600 abstracts had been submitted, including those for general and invited presentations. The Annual Meeting of the JSDT is always the scene of lively debate between the numerous attendees each year. It is a great honor for someone as young and inexperienced as me to have been given the opportunity to organize this meeting.

Dialysis therapy has already been widely used for over 40 years to prolong the lives of patients with end-stage renal failure and enable them to return to normal life. Thanks to the efforts of our many predecessors, dialysis therapy in Japan has made great strides. As a result, Japan is now the world leader in dialysis. Many patients are receiving this therapy while being active on the frontline of society. Japan is known for being the country where dialysis patients have a better prognosis than anywhere else in the world. Nevertheless, dialysis therapy in Japan still faces a number of important issues, and the reality is that it is now entering an era of major transformation. The aging of the Japanese population means that medical costs are increasing and end-of-life care is a matter of debate, but on the other hand the rate of increase in the number of dialysis patients is starting to level off.

As the chair of the 62nd Annual Meeting of the JSDT, the theme I have chosen for the meeting is "Time for Transformation: A Bright Future for Dialysis Therapy." I personally want to plan the meeting in such a way that these issues will be addressed, and the opportunity taken to aim for a bright future in the midst of this situation. Based on the opinions of the membership, I intend to put together a program of special lectures, educational lectures, symposia, workshops, and other events that will help shape the future of the Annual Meeting.

Although the new board-certified specialist system will come into use in 2017, its direction remains uncertain. I think the time is also coming when the concepts of nurse practitioners (capable of practical tasks) and certified nurse specialists will come under discussion. The qualifications of clinical engineers, pharmacists, and nutritionists should also be matters for consideration. I hope we will be able to debate questions including the nature of these qualification systems and JSDT policy.

The Kita-Kanto area north of Tokyo has never before played a central role in arranging the Annual Meeting of the JSDT, and this year Saitama Medical University is the first Kita-Kanto institution to organize the Annual Meeting of the JSDT. Organizations from the region as a whole are working together to plan this 62nd Annual Meeting, with Saitama Medical University taking the lead. We also hope to be able to hold events such as Kita-Kanto-related functions. We are planning a meeting that will make all the participants glad to have come, and look forward to seeing as many as possible of you there. Thank you for your support!