I am most honored to have been appointed as the fourth president of the Japan Society for Endoscopic Surgery (JSES) and feel a great sense of responsibility for this post. JSES has rapidly grown to a membership of more than 12,000 people over the past 25-odd years. This growth has resulted from the advancement of endoscopic surgery that is opening up a new era of surgery and from JSES’s members’ passion for surgical operations and their continuous diligent work. JSES has played a wide range of roles mainly in the promotion, education and safe dissemination of endoscopic surgery as a team under the prominent leadership of successive presidents. The path leading to the dissemination of endoscopic surgery in Japan has been far from easy. However, JSES has a history of overcoming various barriers by its ingenuity and technological innovation. As a result, part of the surgical operations including cholecystectomy, colectomy and prostatectomy have been acknowledged as standard treatments. In addition, the pioneering skill qualification system in the world that was begun to safely disseminate the techniques for endoscopic surgery has been widely accepted. Thus, JSES has been a leader in lowering invasiveness for all surgical treatments, and contributing to medical advancement and the improvement in social welfare. These JSES activities have thus resulted in its rapid globalization to become the world’s largest society for endoscopic surgery.

JSES needs to develop a wider range of projects than ever before to promote further dissemination of endoscopic surgery, technological innovation and scientific verification. I intend not only to enrich the content of scientific conferences and study meetings, but also to improve the quality of JSES’s journal, or particularly, to gain international recognition of its English version. Management of scientific conferences requires a course of action led by the headquarters of JSES with economic efficiency being considered. With regard to JSES’s journal, a Japanese version and an English version need to be differentiated in terms of target readers to obtain the impact factor of an English version as early as possible. It is also essential to take measures to enhance the quality of the world-class skill qualification system, and to clarify the position of this system in a new medical specialist system. Meanwhile, it is also one of JSES’s important roles to promote the addition of widely accepted techniques to the list to which the public medical insurance is applicable, and to work on various parties concerned to raise technical fees. Characteristics of JSES are its cross-sectoral structure and free participation by medical staff such as nurses and clinical engineers. In addition, close collaboration between JSES, companies and engineering researchers is also notable. Since endoscopic surgery depends on the advancement in scientific technology, it needs to adopt engineering technological development. Therefore, I would like to work hard to provide places where exchanges of personnel and opinions as well as joint research can be done beyond each member’s specialization or category. These challenges we face have also been worked on by our successive presidents and a great number of our seniors, but I would like to be further committed to these challenges in order to achieve magnificent results.

The members’ further cooperation will be indispensable for JSES to become the driving force for development in the Japanese medical service. Innovation in surgical treatment brought about by endoscopic surgery is made possible by our continuous effort and new concepts. With the members, I aim to make JSES a society that continues to evolve.

Masahiko Watanabe, M.D., Ph.D
President of the Japan Society for Endoscopic Surgery