Greetings

Our future activities and goals
President of the Union: Kenji Fujisaki (Professor Emeritus of Kyoto University)

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On July 24, 2010, the Union of Japanese Societies for Insect Sciences was established at its inaugural meeting, attended by fourteen insect-related academic societies and associations in Japan. The union now consists of sixteen academic societies, including two new member organizations. I have been appointed as the new president of the Union of Japanese Societies for Insect Sciences as a successor to the first president, Professor Okitsugu Yamashita. I am determined to fulfill my responsibility and duties, and promote the advancement of insect science and contribute to society in accordance with the purpose of the establishment.

The Union of Japanese Societies for Insect Sciences cohosted three symposiums with The Science Council of Japan, Applied Entomology Subcommittee. Young researchers representing many different academic societies delivered presentations on advanced research, which allowed us to recognize the diversity and depth of insect science. The symposiums clearly suggested the necessity of mutual understanding among members of a variety of academic societies and associations as well as interdisciplinary research. However, as for future activities, it will be very important for different academic societies and associations to share common understandings of various problems to solve them, in addition to promoting academic exchanges.

Today, environmental problems, such as global warming, environmental pollution, land development, and invasive species, have become increasingly serious. In this context, biodiversity, the basis of ecological services which humans receive, is being lost at an unprecedented speed. In March of the previous year, there were two unprecedented disasters – a massive earthquake followed by radioactive contamination caused by an explosion at a nuclear power plant. For humans, insects are closely associated with infections, agricultural production, useful resources/biomimetics, and culture/education, and, due to global environmental changes, these relationships are going through a substantial change. In light of this situation, The Science Council of Japan, Applied Entomology Subcommittee, created and published a report, entitled: “Roles to be played by insect science and the necessity of its promotion” on July 28, 2011, which included reports and suggestions on four significant challenges: “The current status of insect taxonomy and its future perspective”, “necessity of addressing insect-mediated infections”, “Insect industry and interdisciplinary collaboration”, and “Education using insects as a subject”. It is necessary for The Union of Japanese Societies for Insect Sciences to share a common awareness of the issues by organizing theme-specific symposiums with the above-mentioned problems and future perspectives in mind. We are also required to increase public awareness of the issues and themes by publishing books, organizing science cafes, and implementing education on insect science. Furthermore, the union should enhance international contributions as an insect science organization representing Japan and contact offices of international academic institutions, including the International Congress of Entomology (ICE).

The Union of Japanese Societies for Insect Sciences has significant future roles to play. Our mission for the second term is to implement new approaches to accomplish these goals while collaborating with academic conferences and related associations. We look forward to your continuing advice and support.