Welcome Greeting

Hiroaki Shimokawa, MD., PhD.
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine,
Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine

Address by the Congress Chairperson of the 80th Annual Scientific Meeting
of the Japanese Circulation Society

I am honored as Congress Chairperson to organize the 80th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Circulation Society (JCS), March 18-20, 2016, Sendai, Japan. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the board of the JCS and those involved in the JCS for giving me the opportunity to hold the milestone 80th Annual Scientific Meeting. In addi- tion, since this meeting coincides with the 5th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earth- quake, I believe that it will be even more significant. For this reason, I have decided to address the theme for this meeting :“The Past, Present and Future of Cardiovascular Medicine in Japan ‒The 5th Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake ‒”.

The JCS has made great strides as an academic society for cardiovascular medicine, which is on a par with the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) of the United States and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) of Europe. Literally, the JCS has become a component of the world’s tripolar system com- posed of Japan, the United States, and Europe. Membership has increased to approxi- mately 26,000, and the number of participants in the annual scientific meeting has reached nearly 20,000, making it one of the nation’s largest scientific meetings today. The number of attendees from abroad is also on the rise, and it is truly encouraging. In the 67th annual scientific meeting held in Fukuoka in 2002 chaired by my former mentor, the late Profes- sor Akira Takeshita, I served as the secretary-general. Considering that the number of JCS members was roughly 20,000 and that of participants stood at 13,763 in those days, the growth of the society and the meeting over the past 13 years has been truly remarkable.

With the milestone occasion in mind, we set up a wide array of programs for the 80th Annual Scientific Meeting. Thanks to the cooperation of the members of the Scientific Program Committee of the JCS, we will incorporate into the plenary sessions and the special programs for the symposia many programs that look toward the next 20 years for cardiovascular medicine in Japan and the world, with an eye toward the centennial of the society. We plan to deal with this subject in the Special Sessions as well. On top of these, in view of the 5th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, we plan to hold a panel exhibition about the contribution to disaster medicine by university hospitals, key local hospitals, medical associations, and healthcare services in the Tohoku region (three disas- ter-stricken prefectures, namely, Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, in particular) and their reconstruction activities, and intend to share with the audience the preparation of JCS’s guidelines and future efforts and initiatives to reduce the effects of a natural disaster as well.

The Special Sessions’ Program (18 sessions in all) takes a long look back at 80 years of JCS’s history. Sessions such as “Japanese Contributions for Cardiology” and “The Advancements of 80 Years in Japanese Circulation Society -the Messages from the Pio- neers and Leaders-”reaffirms Japan’s contribution to the field of cardiovascular medicine and the progress wrought by former presidents of the Society. Other programs include“Editors-in-Chief of the Top Medical Journals,”featuring the heads of editorial from lead- ing publications from around the world, a Europe-focused session called“The Year in Cardiology: The EHJ Perspective,”and educational content in the form of sessions such as“How to improve medical education -Lessons from Japan and USA-”and“Three-day Course of Medical Statistics.”

This year’s Mikamo Lecturer, a session traditionally given by renowned overseas researchers, is my mentor Prof. Paul M. Vanhoutte of the University of Hong Kong, who has chosen the title“Regenerate to be Old”for his talk. The Mashimo Memorial Lecture by an exemplary Japanese researcher will be given by Prof. Masayuki Yamamoto, profes- sor of Division of Medical Biochemistry at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medi- cine and the Executive Director of the Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, who will speak about oxidative stress responses.

In addition, we have 18 special lectures, 11 plenary sessions, 28 symposia, 7 joint symposia with overseas academic societies in Asian nations as well as the AHA, ACC, ESC and CSC, 11 round-table discussions, 8 topic sessions, 6 controversy sessions, 10 meet-the-ex- pert sessions, 29 morning lectures, and more.

We received 3,818 entries for the regular abstracts, of which 2,308 or 60.5% were selected. For late-breaking sessions, 65 entries were received; 36 or 55% were selected. The team healthcare session received 13 entries to the symposium, of which 10 were cho- sen; 310 of the 352 entries to the regular abstracts were selected, for a total selection rate of 87.7% for the team healthcare session. All told, 815 members have accepted the session chair role for a total of 3,294 presentations in sessions including special programs, regular abstracts, and late-breaking sessions, for which they have my profound thanks.

The Sendai International Center, whose exhibition building was opened in April 2015, will be the main venue, while the Tohoku University Centennial Hall (Kawauchi Hagi Hall), the Sendai Civic Auditorium, and a newly built exhibition center in Sendai City will be used concurrently. This new exhibition center built by Sendai City stands next to the Sendai International Center and is one of the symbols of the city’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake (total floor space of 6,057 m2). We will thus be able to orga- nize the meeting in an environment richly endowed with nature surrounding the Hirose River at the base of Mt. Aoba. Moreover, the Sendai Subway Tozai Line that runs through downtown Sendai east and west was opened on December 6, 2015 and the Inter- national Center Station was also opened. We will use a large parking space on the north side of the International Center Station as the venue for poster and equipment exhibition. From Sendai City’s perspective, as this will be its first large-scale event that couples the new exhibition center with the launch of the Tozai Line, it has high expectations on our Annual Scientific Meeting.

The poster for the JCS Annual Scientific Meeting portrays the passage of time through a band of light with the globe (Japan) at the center, which represents the past, present, and future of Japan’s cardiovascular medicine.

I hope that the 80th Annual Scientific Meeting will give you a golden opportunity to look back on the progress to date and envision the future of Japan’s cardiovascular medicine. I look forward to having as many of you with us as possible.