President Hirokuni Arai

President Hirokuni Arai
Professor and Chairman, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery,
Tokyo Medical and Dental University

The 71st Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery will be held from October 3 to 6, 2018 in Tokyo, with PGC and Board of Councilors meetings on the first day. It is a great honor for me and all members of the Cardiovascular Surgery Division of the Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences in Tokyo Medical and Dental University to host the congress. Our university hosted the 33rd meeting under the presidency of the late Dr. Kenichi Asano 38 years ago in 1980, and the last meeting in the Kanto region was the 62nd presided by Dr. Ryohei Yozu nine years ago in 2009.

The venue will be the International Convention Center Pamir at Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Tokyo. All sessions will take place in a single big building to avoid having to move between different facilities. The nearby JR Shinagawa Station serves as a new gateway to Tokyo with Shinkansen trains stopping there, and is easily accessible from Haneda Airport.

The main theme is “Scientific Creativity” representing science-based creations.
Since the surgeon must possess high operating skills, it is essential to repeat drills before becoming sufficiently skilled in a certain technique, and technically distinguished surgeons may be called good doctors. However, merely acquiring and repeating established knowledge and skills cannot resolve existing issues and is subject to limitations. Science can be described as “demonstrating evidence through many experiments, rather than simply repeating drills,” whereas creativity involves “always adding something special and new, after careful thought.” I have chosen “Scientific Creativity” as the main theme for this meeting with the belief that the discipline of surgery will be driven in the near future by a process of trial and error integrating science and creation, which may seem contradictory.

I drew the draft illustration of the poster, and a professional illustrator then improved it. Flying in the sky above Tokyo Bay is something like a monster bird illustrating the heart, lungs, and esophagus in an abstract style. This is my imaginary creature symbolizing the dramatic evolution of our association covering the three fields of thoracic surgery.

The program was designed to provide creative sessions in line with the concept of the main theme of the congress. First, two new sessions were planned: Techno-Academy and Surgical Colosseum. In the Techno-Academy session, an invited speaker from abroad and an expert in Japan will talk about major topics in various fields, with a focus on surgical techniques. The session will be discussion-oriented to allow the audience to gain deeper insights. The Surgical Colosseum session will be a conference for thoroughly discussing individual bailout cases and nightmare cases. Each speaker will appear in the center of a panoramic circular arena with three screens. I hope the audience will participate in the discussion from all directions.

At the coming meeting, there will be no plenary sessions as a Featured Abstract Session will be held instead, so as to present distinguished abstracts in each field.

To promote the internationalization of our activities, Japanese-to-English and English-to-Japanese simultaneous interpretation will be available at four venues. There will be a pre-registration system to encourage researchers outside Japan to join the meeting. It should be noted that the registration fee varies between pre-registration and on-the-day registration, regardless of whether or not the registrant is a member of the Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery. You are encouraged to pre-register as far as possible. In addition, the 2nd JATS Asian travelling fellowship for participants from abroad, especially from South-East Asia, was planned under the leadership of the International Committee.

While there will be heart sessions on all three congress days, respiratory sessions will take place on the first and second days, and esophageal sessions on the second and third days. Please also note that the general assembly will begin in the early morning (prior to the start of the main conference) on the second day (October 5).

The invited speakers from abroad as fixed at present are Drs. David H. Adams, Glen van Arsdell, Duke Edward Cameron, Taweesak Chotivatanapong, Gilles Dreyfus, Khalil Fattouch, Bob B. Kiaii, Ki-Bong Kim, Ivan Netuka, Hans-Joachim Schäfers, David Paul Taggart, and Joseph Woo in the heart area; and Drs. Raphael Bueno, Elie Fadel, Gunda Leschber, Alper Toker, and Cameron Dorrans Wright in the respiratory area.

I look forward to welcoming you in Tokyo.