Japan Epidemiological Association (JEA) became an incorporated association in December, 2015. In order to further develop our country’s epidemiology, we will actively engage in activities such as collaboration with other societies, training epidemiologists, and disseminating information. Meanwhile, we will continue our efforts to further develop Journal of Epidemiology, and the internationalization to become a leading voice in Asia.
Epidemiology is called “a population science”. It observes health in the human population quantitatively, analyzes the factors behind generations, promotes health, and resolves undesirable health problems through intervention; epidemiology offers the methodology for resolution. Epidemiology is a science that links theory and practice. The study involves human populations and thus, its advancement depends on a large number of people. That is why I used the expression “people – epidemiology – people” as a key idea in my 2013 greetings at the time I became President of JEA. That spirit is continued.
Membership as of January 1, 2016 is 1,934, which is eight times more than the 243 we began with in 1991. Through the strenuous efforts of our senior colleagues, the importance of epidemiology is now recognized by other areas such as clinical medicine, pharmacology, and nursing. There is further need for epidemiology to be recognized and understood by other scientists, practitioners, and the general population. We plan to reinforce our public relations activities such as seminars and training, increase the support for youth community “Japan Young Epidemiologists Network”, which offers a chance to freely discuss various issues, and to exchange ideas through collaborative events with other societies. I am also proud to announce that Journal of Epidemiology hit an Impact Factor of 3.022 in 2014, and is now one of the world's top 10 journals in Epidemiology. We will continue our efforts to develop our Journal by expanding the publication service and by the internationalization of editorial board and reviewers.
Another message for our members, and those interested in epidemiology is the key word “wisdom of the east”. Health issues surrounding aging and declining number of children are now a global challenge, but these problems will become more complicated and diverse as they spread. Experts who are well trained in the knowledge and practice in epidemiology will be required more than ever. The “wisdom of the west” is probably not sufficient to tackle the global health issue, and the more active use of the “wisdom of the east” will be necessary. The knowledge of the west is distinguished with its power for analysis of individual components, but the knowledge of the east excels in comprehensiveness based on its idea of coordination, integration, continuation, and circulation. I believe that Japan is expected to take advantage of the wisdom of the east as a leading force in Asia. Historically, Japan imported culture, economy, politics, and science from other Asian countries such as China and Korea. Epidemiologists in Japan have achieved success in combating air and water pollutions, infectious diseases, chronic diseases, psychiatric disorders; different areas of epidemiology such as public health, industrial hygiene, maternal child health, school health, geriatric health care, and mental health helped resolve many such problems. As the world’s most aged country, we are now closely watched by our fellow Asians on how we tackle the health issues of an aging society with declining birth population. Our road to solution will not be smooth, but the wisdom of the east may make solution. The development and dissemination of the wisdom of the east is one of our missions.
To expand the “people – epidemiology – people” cycle, JEA should become an arena for exchange of ideas and collaboration among clinical and government physicians, dentists, pharmacologists, nurses, public health nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, social scientists, health practitioners, and other people related to health related areas. I call for active engagement from those interested in our Association’s missions.
Lastly, I ask the members, delegates, board members, and honorary members for your participation, support, and advice for the growth of an incorporated JEA.
February 1, 2016