A message from the President of the Society

The President of the Japan Society of Nutrition and Food Science :
Kazuo Kondo (the fiscal year 2014-2015)

The President of the Japan Society of Nutrition and Food Science : Kazuo Kondo

It is a great honor to have been appointed president of Japan Society of Nutrition and Food Science (JSNFS) for the fiscal years of 2014 and 2015. From the first President, Prof. Kenta Omori, to my immediate predecessor, the 29th President, Prof. Teruo Miyazawa, this honorable office had been occupied by prominent scholars in the field of nutrition and food sciences. The history and tradition of this society is the progeny of the continuous efforts by all of my great predecessors. Following in their steps, I will gratefully commit myself to fulfill the high responsibilities attached to this appointment. 

JSNFS was established in 1947 to apply the professional knowledge of top experts in nutrition and food sciences to help the Japanese people suffering from malnutrition immediately after World War II. It is regarded as Japan's top society in the field today. JSNFS also maintains a close relationship with medical world as the No. 14 member society of the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences (JAMS). The academic contributions made by many nutrition and food sciences researchers have undoubtedly played a part in the striking progress in recent medical sciences, as underlined by our membership to JAMS.

The initial mission of JSNFS was to solve the issue of malnutrition, but as times have changed, JSNFS's mission has also changed and diversified so as to deal with more recent developments such as over-nutrition. The international trend toward the free flow of information requires the promotion of its mission not only domestically but also through global expansion from Asia to the world. Eight years ago, Prof. Seiichi Homma, Prof. Teruo Miyazawa, and Prof. Hitoshi Ishida, then President and Vice Presidents respectively, spelled out a far-sighted idea that nutrition and food sciences should be promoted across the world. Thanks largely to their insights, the 12th Asian Congress of Nutrition (ACN) will be held at Pacifico Yokohama in 2015 jointly with the 69th JSNFS Annual Meeting. Furthermore, it was decided by an overwhelming vote at the 20th general meeting of International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) held in Granada, Spain last year that the 22nd International Congress of Nutrition (ICN) be held at the Tokyo International Forum in 2021. We must keep in mind that as our mission is thus going global, it also gives us great responsibilities in striving to lead the world's nutrition and food sciences. In order to fulfill our mission successfully worldwide, it is essential to strengthen collaboration with the IUNS sectional committee of Science Council of Japan (SCJ), related academic societies, and also with the industrial world, which means that our efforts should be staged as an endeavor for all of Japan.

To advance JSNFS's mission worldwide naturally requires further expansion of its activities.  Providing occasions for active networking and valuable exchange of views can be most important to attract new members, but how can we achieve this? Specifically, JSNFS currently has an award program; the “Award for Distinguished Service”, the “Award for Excellence in Research”, and the “Young Investigator Award”, given in order of seniority respectfully. As it has turned out however, the majority of those awarded the Young Investigator Award, originally intended for junior researchers, tend to be mid-level researchers in their late 30s. Thus, I suggest the creation of a new Incentive Award for junior members in their 20s. Since this age group has the largest membership, offering services attractive to them can help JSNFS expand in the future.

We have another suggestion to strengthen JSNFS. Currently, the number of presentations at JSNFS annual meetings stands at around 650 and rarely reaching 700. We will need to make concerted and continuous efforts to achieve 1,000 speakers. On the other hand, JSNFS has already been actively engaged in industry-academia cooperation studies. Such collaborations are very important, and we hope to further consolidate and promote our relationship with the industrial world through our "Technology Award," a new award created under the leadership of the former president Miyazawa to commend new technology in the field of nutrition and food sciences.

Other items on our agenda include:

  • Enhancing contents of the journal of JSNFS by soliciting more submissions with endeavors such as further shortening review period;
  • Achieving an increased impact factor(IF) and budget stabilization of the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, which is edited in collaboration with the Vitamin Society of Japan;
  • Broadening activities of public interest, such as publication of a revised edition of the Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Sciences Terms by the end of this fiscal year;
  • Establishing stronger ties with the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences accompanied by more JSNFS members from the medical world;
  • Furthering cooperation with other Japanese academic societies related to the study of nutrition;
  • Creating closer ties with related academic societies abroad by concluding the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU);
  • Improving the JSNFS homepage ;
  • Strengthening governance by the board of directors on financial issues;
  • Dealing with issues of conflict of interests with deep consideration on nature of JSNFS membership with many non-medical profession members.  

We are determined to address the above issues at board meetings under the leadership of the executive directors and in collaboration with members of committees in charge. 

It has been almost 3 years since JSNFS became a public interest incorporated association.  And thanks to the hard work by Mr. Michiharu Igoshi, a former Secretary-General, and his successor Mr. Yasushi Takano as well as the staff, JSNFS is now fully supported by a full-fledged secretariat. We earnestly hope that the current arrangement remain as it is for years to come. 

Finally, as JSNFS keeps moving forward as a leading academic society, we pledge efforts to provide attractive activities and services in order that our members and we can continue to represent the forefront of research in nutrition and food sciences. Your warm support is greatly appreciated.

Messages from Past Presidents