Toshiyuki OJIMA
Director of the 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japan Epidemiological Association
Professor of Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine

"Promoting health and well-being through convergence research" is the theme of the 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japan Epidemiological Association.
Convergence research is a keyword in the Basic Plan for Science, Technology, and Innovation approved by the Cabinet in 2021, which states that "diverse knowledge should come together to create new value by generating a vitality of knowledge.

Today, we are faced with the need to respond to increasingly complex social issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, large-scale disasters, aging societies, health disparities, and global warming. Ethics and diverse values are also important. Furthermore, new research methods utilizing IoT devices and artificial intelligence (AI) are being developed and put to practical use. Therefore, integration with the humanities and social sciences, as well as various natural sciences, will be important for the further development of epidemiology in the future.

By the way, during the COVID-19 pandemic, two scientific meetings had to be held online. As for listening to lectures and research presentations, it was very comfortable and convenient. However, we are also increasingly interested in holding the conference in a realistic setting. We believe this is important in terms of "diverse knowledge gathering". Therefore, we would like to take advantage of the intermissions of on-site meetings so that we can have individual interactions and chats, and we would also like to implement some trials. However, we are preparing to hold the meeting in a hybrid format, using both online and offline, because the situation regarding the spread of COVID-19 in the future is unpredictable. Moreover, it will benefit some members who find it difficult to attend the meeting at the venue due to work or family circumstances.

Hamamatsu is a "City of Music", and a musical instrument museum is adjacent to the venue. There are also delicious foods such as eels, gyoza (dumplings), Mikkaichi oranges, Enshu-nada natural torafugu (blowfish), and places to visit such as Kanzanji hot springs.

We look forward to seeing many of you in Hamamatsu.