Message from the President

Japan Neurosurgical Society, GIA (General Incorporated Association)
Hajime Arai, President


The Japan Neurosurgical Society was founded in 1948 as the Japan Neurosurgical Study Group, and the name of the society was changed to the Japan Neurosurgical Society in 1952. With regards to the Japanese name of this society, “neurosurgery” referred separately to the brain and nerves, however when “neurosurgery” was formerly accepted as the name of the department according to Article 70 of the Medical Care Act Effective at the time, the separation of “brain” and “nerves” were eliminated for reasons of legal terminology, and the Japan Neurological Society has been referred to under the current Japanese name to the present day. The separate mention of “brain” and “nerves” reflects the intention of the predecessors in considering “brain” as the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and “nerves” as the peripheral nerves. This scope of application is true to the present day, and neurosurgery can therefore be defined as surgery of the brain and spinal cord, as well as peripheral nerves.

Neurosurgery belongs in the area of basic medical care and is considered to be an essential clinical department in supporting medical care and medical study in Japan. Departments of neurosurgery are now established in all universities in Japan, and neurosurgery is also an indispensable clinical department in local base hospitals. In addition, many neurosurgeons have founded various forms of medical offices and clinics, and the activities of these institutions are truly at the forefront in contributing to regional medical care. Neurosurgeons are not only engaged in advanced surgery of the nervous system, but cover diverse activities, such as diagnostic imaging with MRI, CT, and angiography, general emergency response, non-surgical treatment of various nerve disorders, medical checkups of the brain, pre- and post-operative management, rehabilitation, and long-term prognosis management. In the true sense, neurosurgery is a clinical department that encompasses the prevention, acute treatment, and chronic treatment of disorders of the brain and spinal cord, and a neurosurgeon can be described to as a neurology generalist with eyes and skill of a surgeon.

With regard to neurosurgery, which plays a highly important role in medical care and medical study in Japan, the board certification system in this area was established in 1966 to ensure the quality of the doctors involved. This followed the establishment of the board certification system by the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists. Since then, up to about 7,700 board certified neurosurgeons have been sent forth into the world, and the board certification system by the Japan Neurosurgical Society is evaluated highly because of the high level of accreditation, as well as the assurance of fairness and transparency. In 1973, the fifth International Congress of Neurological Surgery was held in Tokyo with Professor Keiji Sano of the Department of Neurosurgery, University of Tokyo, (at the time of event) as the president. The hosting of this international congress was an epoch-making event for Japanese neurosurgeons, whose development was through learning from Western countries, because it provided an opportunity to come to equal terms with the international level. Today, the clinical and academic activities of the members of this society are at the highest level globally, and Japan is now a leader in neurosurgery around the world. In 2003, the Japan Neurosurgical Society changed the nature of the organization from a private organization to an incorporated association to acquire the personality and rights as an organization, and in 2012, the society became a general incorporated association as part of the reform of the public interest corporation system. Consequently, this society has borne heavy social responsibilities as a result of these changes.

The philosophy of the Japan Neurosurgical Society is neurosurgery that advances with society and protects the brain and spinal cord. With this high ideal and our strong passion, neurosurgeons work day and night in the medical care of neurological disorders, and the society aims to provide support for these neurosurgeons. In addition, we aim to always remind ourselves of the essence of the art of medicine and look closely at all things through the clear eyes of scientists, while contributing to medical studies and medical care in Japan. We ask for your understanding and cooperation from the members of our community.

October 2017

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