We are sad to announce the passing of Professor Niwa, Past President and Honorary President of the World Endoscopy Organization (formerly OMED). He was a pioneer in Flexible Digestive Endoscopy in the early 1970s, a time when Japanese technology was making great strides in the development of endoscopic equipment. Professor Niwa made important contributions to its development and then focused on the diagnosis of early gastric and colonic cancer, concepts that were at that time not appreciated in the rest of the world. He became President of the Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society, the Asian Pacific Society for Digestive Endoscopy and spent two terms as secretary General of WEO, becoming President 2002-5 and later archivist to the organization.

Professor Niwa was a leader in endoscopy in Japan, Asia and the World. The world of endoscopy acknowledges his leadership, his important contributions to the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disease, and to the history of digestive endoscopy. He was a great man and an outstanding leader. He will be sadly missed.