The 127th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Ophthalmological Society

Welcome Message

Greeting for the 127th Annual Meeting of
the Japanese Ophthalmological Society
“It's to know to see”

Makoto Aihara, M.D., Ph.D.
The 127th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Ophthalmological Society
President Makoto Aihara, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Tokyo

The 127th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Ophthalmological Society (JOS) will be hosted by the University of Tokyo at the Tokyo International Forum. I am honored to serve as President of the JOS Annual Meeting and work with Vice-President, Dr. Toshimasa Fukuda, President of the Tokyo Association of Ophthalmologists, and Chair of the Program Committee, Dr. Tomohiko Usui, Professor at the International University of Health and Welfare.

In hosting the JOS Annual Meeting, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the directors, auditors, councilors, and members of the JOS, as well as members of the Japan Ophthalmologists Association. My deep gratitude also goes to staff of the Secretariat for the JOS Annual Meeting, members of the Tokyo Association of Ophthalmologists, alumni of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Tokyo, and many sponsoring companies.

The theme of the 127th JOS Annual Meeting is “It's to know to see”.
Even if we look at the same things with our own eyes, the way we see them and how we feel about them can differ from person to person. The Japanese word “miru,” equivalent to the English word “see,” has multiple meanings: conceptual, scientific and social. We members of JOS are engaged in basic and clinical research and practice as experts of the visual system, the very mechanism that enables us to see. As such, we are responsible for communicating the importance of seeing to the public, and helping people maintain the ability to see. I chose “It's to know to see” as the theme of the JOS Annual Meeting in the hope that through ophthalmological practice and research, we can continue to see things with a global, diverse and balanced approach to contribute to patients’ health and social well-being.

I first became interested in the ways of “seeing” things long before I became an ophthalmologist. From those with healthy eyes and through education, I learned the importance of nurturing the ability to “see”, which is essential for living, for delving into matters based on our own judgment, for discovering questions and observing subjects of interest, and for pursuing creativity. Since my childhood, I have enjoyed watching insects and plants as well as photography, and this experience has taught me that there are diverse ways of “seeing” things. Through my medical education and my experience as a physician, I have learned the importance of “seeing” patients not only for treating them but also for understanding their needs and wishes. And through my interactions with people, organizations, and various other parts of society, I have come to recognize the importance of “seeing” things from a broad perspective.

For the 127th JOS Annual Meeting, we have invited Dr. Tomohiro Iida, Chief Professor at Tokyo Women’s Medical University, and Dr. Toshinori Murata, Professor at Shinshu University, as Special Lecturers, who will speak about interesting aspects of “seeing” based on their basic and clinical research on the retina. Invited Lectures will be delivered by Dr. Claude F. Burgoyne of the Devers Eye Institute, and Dr. Takeshi Yoro, Emeritus Professor at the University of Tokyo and Kitasato University. Dr. Burgoyne will speak about the pathophysiology of glaucomatous optic nerve head damage, and Dr. Yoro, known for his love of insects, will present his view on “ways of seeing things” from his sharp perspective. As an insect lover myself, I am personally excited to listen to his lecture.

In the Council Designated Lecture session, Dr. Atsunobu Takeda, Kyushu University, Dr. Sentaro Kusuhara, Kobe University, and Dr. Kazuichi Maruyama, Osaka University, will give presentations on the theme, “Inflammation/Infection and the Future of Ophthalmic Practice.”

The Program Committee has planned 15 symposiums and eight educational seminars, dealing with cutting-edge topics in various fields of ophthalmology and educational topics at varying levels from basic to clinical. The President’s symposium will focus on the latest research on the five senses relating to the theme of this Annual Meeting, specifically in terms of the senses of hearing, smell, taste and equilibrium that supplement “sight,” and glia cells that support sensory neurons. In addition, we will organize sessions covering basic, clinical and social medical sciences, centering on four topics: delving into the mechanisms of seeing; the role of lipids in the eye and the mechanisms of the eye in terms of lipids; clinical epidemiology that supports the ability to see; and ophthalmic practice in the “new normal” era.

The days of having to live under Covid-19 restrictions have fortunately passed and we have entered the stage where we must learn to live with Covid-19. While the forthcoming JOS Annual Meeting is to be held inn person, we will also make use of online streaming and other ICT tools, which have become the main way of conferencing as a result of changes in people’s behavior caused by the pandemic. These services and tools are expected to play critical roles in promoting workstyle reforms and meeting the needs of the global era where diversity is embraced more widely. Because discussion is an important part of any scientific meeting, we will organize the symposiums and general presentations, as well as academic lectures, both face-to-face and online using the e-poster system, so that we can invite many foreign speakers to make live presentations online, and positively engage in discussions in the same manner as in-person participants.

The forthcoming JOS Annual Meeting, therefore, will have basically in-person participants plus online speakers from abroad,with the video of the meeting to be made available for on-demand viewing after the meeting. As the meeting will not be streamed live except for the session given in Hall C, we encourage as many people as possible to participate in-person and explore the meaning of “seeing” together on-site. While there still is much uncertainty about how the pandemic will develop by the time the meeting is held, we will take all possible measures to prevent the spread of infection based on our experience to ensure the safety of the meeting.

We sincerely look forward to welcoming you in Tokyo.

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