Japan College of Rheumatology

Hamamatsu-cho Empress Bldg. 3F, 2-9-6
Hamamatsu-cho, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0013, JAPAN
TEL: +81-3-6435-9761
FAX: +81-3-6435-9762
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Congress Secretariat

c/o Congrès Inc.
Onward Park Bldg., 3-10-5 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku Tokyo 103-8276, JAPAN
TEL: +81-3-3510-3701
FAX: +81-3-3510-3702
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Welcome Message

Greetings from Congress President

Professor Michiaki Takagi, MD. PhD

Professor and Chairman,
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,
Yamagata University Faculty of Medicine, Yamagata, Japan

Professor Michiaki Takagi, MD. PhD

Toward the 68th Annual General Assembly & Scientific Meeting of the Japan College of Rheumatology
-“Ryushin wo toru”(Catch the Essence) - Thoughts on a Theme

The 68th Annual General Assembly & Scientific Meeting of the Japan College of Rheumatology (JCR) will be held at the Kobe Convention Center from April 18 to 20, 2024. It is a great honor for me to be in charge of this meeting, which has a long tradition since 1957, when the Japan Rheumatism Association, the predecessor of the JCR was established.

Looking back on the history of the JCR, our society has always been ahead of the times and the scientific meetings have developed into large gatherings of people from various fields and disciplines. Looking at the world, the past few years have been difficult, with the pandemic of Covid-19, wars, and various other events casting a dark shadow over society as a whole. Even in these times, the JCR has not stopped its progress and has continued to this day. I believe that this is due to the efforts of many of you.

A quarter of a century has passed in the 21st century. In the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the advent of biologic and targeted synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, and a wide range of other drugs has greatly advanced drug therapy, and the improvement in prognosis has been remarkable. The benefits of pharmacotherapy in some other rheumatic diseases, such as spondyloarthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, are also becoming evident. On the other hand, many rheumatic diseases still have problems of disease activity and quality of life that cannot be controlled by drug therapy, as well as musculoskeletal disorders, including joint destruction, and organ complications. This is a major challenge for the next quarter century. In rheumatoid arthritis, which affects a large number of patients, it will become even more important to deal not only with osteoarticular disorders in aging patients and patients with elderly onset of disease, but also with co-morbid conditions. We expect to develop a more comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach by integrating internal medicine, orthopedics, pediatrics, rehabilitation medicine and other related medical fields, as well as social support. When I review the current situation in Japan, a super-aging society unlike any other in the world, I feel that we are at a crossroads where we need to reconsider the future outlook for rheumatic diseases. At the same time, there are many rheumatic diseases that need to be addressed in each age group in our super-aged, low fertility society, and it is essential to develop rheumatology and medical care that is attentive and balanced from childhood to old age. Taking into account the progress of various science and technology such as AI, IT, Dx, XR/ER, robotics, and regenerative medicine, the development of academic societies with an eye on the future is desired. I hope that each and every one of the participants at the conference, which aims for a higher level, will have a good opportunity to learn the new from the old, and to look beyond the current situation and into the future.

The theme of the 68th JCR Meeting is "Ryushin wo Toru.” Many of you may recall the etymology of the word "rheumatism" from the character for "flow". The word "ryushin wo toru" is derived from a favorite phrase of an experienced fly fisherman in the northern part of Japan. The word "ryushin" means that you have to pass the fly hook firmly through the heart of the stream to meet the upstream salmon, and I superimposed it on the image of "Catch the Essence" to catch the essence of things. Ryushin literally means the center of a river's flow, where it flows most vigorously. However, it is not always in the center of the river, and sometimes it is not easily visible. Today, we have easy access to a vast amount of information and knowledge, and it takes tireless effort to discern and accurately grasp the essence of things from the vast amount of information and knowledge that is available. Creativity and ingenuity are essential. For those of you with enterprising spirit, I hope that the Annual Meeting will be a place for you to disseminate the valuable results of your earnest daily clinical, research, educational, and social activities, and at the same time, to learn new knowledge and skills, deepen your friendship, and strengthen your ties. Through these activities, I sincerely hope that this meeting will further contribute to the development of rheumatology, rheumatology care, and other related fields. In conclusion, I would like to ask for your continued support and cooperation in making this meeting even more fruitful.

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