Akihiko Usui M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman
Department of Cardiac Surgery,
Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine

Akihiko Usui

The 73rd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery (JATS) will be held from October 29 (Thu) to November 1st (Sun), 2020. This is the 3rd time of JATS annual meeting held in Nagoya and it is a great honor of Nagoya University Thoracic Surgery Unit.

Due to the spread of COVID-19 infection, we have decided to hold the congress as webinar formats on the website instead of in-parson conferences on the local onsite venue. This is a tough decision for us, however, it is a new and future-oriented trial and we are trying hard to achieve the virtual congress successfully.

We have selected 169 papers for 26 sessions of symposium or panel discussion in cardiovascular surgery field and will present them as live webinar formats from October 29 to November 1, 2020. Other 160 abstracts have also been selected and will be presented as live webinar as well. These presentations will be presented as on-demand formats in a month after congress with other 315 selected abstracts.

The Board of JATS directors has been discussing how to manage the annual meeting, which is the biggest project of the society. We adapt a three chairpersons system to utilize the annual meeting maximally for each field and the 73rd annual meeting is the first trial. I am a congress president. Seiki Hasegawa, Hyogo Medical College is a chairperson of Thoracic surgery. Akira Tangoku, Tokushima University is a chairperson of Esophageal surgery. We aim to create a new congress, where all members can enjoy their own academic ability fully.

The theme of the meeting is "Future prospectives". In recent years, technical progress in the field of thoracic surgery is remarkable and surgical strategies such as thoracoscopic surgery and endovascular surgery have been diversified. Much discussions are requited, including the evaluation of clinical outcomes and the reconsideration of surgical indications. We should discuss the near future supposed to be 2030 because 2020 is a milestone year.

We invite Mr. Hiroshi Amano, the Faculty of Engineering Nagoya University, who won the Nobel Prize for the special lecture. He will give a talk titled "Transformative electronics on energy efficiency ". This is a future-oriented lecture on how to respond to global warming from the perspective of energy usage. We hope that it will be a very suggestive lecture even for surgeons.

AATS / JATS joint Mitral Conclave is originally scheduled on November 1, 2020. But an in-parson conference is impossible in this situation. We are trying to hold it as a virtual conference. More than 40 foreign speakers originally come to Nagoya to give us special lectures. But they are unable to come to Japan due to the pandemic of COVID-19. Many speakers have given their warm support to JATS2020. We ask them to send surgical videos or video letters, which will be presented as on-demand formats.

2020 is the year that the integrated project of the Society and local assembly begins. We establish a “JATS case presentation award”, which is a challenging session for residents. Excellent case presentations, which are selected in local assembly, are presented in JATS annual meeting and win the prize. The meeting of local assembly is a qualifying round and the JATS annual meeting is the final round. I would like to encourage residents to try it out.

JATS makes major changes in management of the annual meeting. JATS has hired special staffs for a congress and organize it by ourselves. We make the annual meeting profitable and a part of the financial resources of the society. This was my promise as the chair of the Finance Committee. Many problems might be happened, however, please forgive us as this year is the first trial. We hope all members enjoy your own annual meeting. We are looking forwards to seeing you on the website.

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