The Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Society of Japan, Inc

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Message from the Chairman

At the May 2016 general meeting and meeting of the board of the Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Society of Japan, I was selected as the 17th Chairman of the Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Society of Japan and was asked to head the society for 2 years.

The Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Society of Japan had its origins in the Tokyo Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Society, which was founded in February 1893. For 123 years, the society has provided high-quality medical care to Japanese citizens in the areas of otorhinolaryngology and of head and neck surgery, as well as promoting academic study in these areas inside and outside of Japan. Today, the society operates 16 related societies and boasts 10,900 members. It maintains a specialized medical system for the training of first-rate medical professionals and actively engages in social medicine in the contexts of industrial health, welfare medical care (care for adults, elderly, and infants), and medical insurance. Every May, the society holds its general meeting and academic conference, and every November, it holds a medical specialists course. In addition, a range of other academic conferences and programs are held. The society also publishes literature in English and Japanese, among them the journal Auris Nasus Larynx (ANL).

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the academic field and diagnostic system for otorhinolaryngology were developed in Japan. In the late 19th century in Europe, ailments of the ears, nose, and throat were considered to fall within separate treatment fields. In Japan at the same time, there were numerous cases of otitis media with intracranial complications leading to meningitis and death. In an age with no antibiotics, the only treatment for otitis media was surgery, with ear ailments being treated in surgical wards. Many nasal, pharyngeal, and laryngeal ailments were caused by diphtheria, so patients with these ailments were examined at internal medicine clinics, which were also responsible for providing education on the subject. In 1892, Eigoro Kanasugi (the first president of this society) returned from studying in Europe and integrated these fields into a single one, creating the academic discipline of otorhinolaryngology. He launched our society for the purpose of providing lectures on this subject. In other words, Japan established otorhinolaryngology as a stand-alone field at a very early stage, enabling a history of over 120 years.

In October 1965, the 8th International Rhinologic Society was held in Japan with great success. At a meeting of various representatives from different countries, Japan proposed the establishment of the International Federation of Otorhinolaryngological Societies (IFOS), a proposal that was accepted, with the body's secretariat being installed in Tokyo. For 3 terms (12 years), it operated out of Japan, with Professor Jou Ono acting as General Secretary. The IFOS was then moved to Mexico. As suggested by this episode, Japan has long played a central role in international cooperation in the spheres of otorhinolaryngology and of head and neck surgery.

To meet the needs of patients, which are rapidly evolving and changing today, the medical and healthcare fields must constantly evolve and refine themselves. We would like to share Japan's clinical and research outcomes, further communicate and exchange information with participants from overseas, and carry out activities that will meet the expectations of today's field of otorhinolaryngology. We look forward to your support and encouragement.

Hiroshi Moriyama, MD, PhD
Chairman, Board of Directors
The Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Society of Japan, Inc.

(September 26th, 2016)