I am greatly honored to become President of WEO, succeeding Professor Fabian Emura who has accomplished so many projects even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. My priority as WEO President is to continue the solid achievements of my predecessors who have brought WEO to where it stands today. Antony Axon, Jerome Waye, William Chao, Nagi Reddy, Jean-Francois Rey, and Fabian Emura have contributed greatly to our society and provided a strong foundation for which I am very grateful.

Dr. Hisao Tajiri

Stronger regional ties and international cooperation

An important part of my presidency will be to strengthen, through educational activities, WEO’s ties to the GI endoscopy societies representing global zones, such as A-PSDE (Asian-Pacific Society of Digestive Endoscopy), ESGE (European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy), and SIED (Inter-American Society of Digestive Endoscopy), and also to national societies. WEO has a mandate to support education and we have developed several educational programs, such as WISE (the WEO International School of EUS), the Emerging Stars Program, ADEC (Advanced Diagnosis Endoscopy Course and Library), and ARA (Activities to reach Africa).

The goal of WEO is to be the world leader in endoscopic education while promoting safe and high-quality endoscopy practice. WEO’s international cooperation has created a network of world-leading experts that allows us to share and learn progressive practice strategies for gastrointestinal endoscopy across national boundaries. In addition, WEO will use its global networks to promote academic research and conduct international joint projects.

Artificial intelligence (AI) in the service of endoscopy

The next challenge for the world of endoscopy is to retain a healthy balance between exciting new technologies and ensuring that the quality of routine daily practice is upheld. The AI Committee in particular has developed notable projects in these past 2 years. We should see ourselves as engaging with what is already available and using these resources to their full potential. The next decade will see further development of AI applications in endoscopy, and AI-based algorithms may be applied to clinical practice to support decision making in real time.

On a different front, the COVID-19 and Webinars Committees delivered meticulous and substantial services in response to the global corona outbreak. Virtual reality and remote medical education systems will now have a continuing role in WEO activities.  Another significant result of these advances in digital technology is to enhance WEO’s commitment to equitable distribution in rural and remote areas.

I am passionate about and look forward to improving the quality of clinical endoscopy and endoscopy education around the world. I appreciate the support and cooperation of all of you and would like to thank you, in advance, for your advice and suggestions at any time.

I believe the future of endoscopy is bright.

About our new WEO President

Dr. Tajiri graduated from Hokkaido University School of Medicine in Sapporo, Japan, in 1976, and received postgraduate professional training at the Department of Internal Medicine at the Cancer Institute Hospital and the Endoscopy Division at the National Cancer Center Hospital in Tokyo. In 1995 he joined the National Cancer Center Hospital East as Director of the Endoscopy Division. He was appointed as Chairman and Professor, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, and Department of Endoscopy, the Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan, from 2001 to 2015.

Dr. Tajiri has served as Professor in the Department of Innovative Interventional Endoscopy Research at the Jikei University School of Medicine since 2015.

He has worked scientifically on various new modalities of endoscopic diagnosis and treatment for GI malignancies, including image-enhanced endoscopy, magnifying endoscopy, molecular imaging, EMR, ESD, and robotically assisted endoluminal surgery. Dr. Tajiri has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and written numerous book chapters.

Dr. Tajiri became WEO President in May 2022. He has been active as Vice-President of A-PSDE and has been President of the Japan Endoscopy Database Institute since March 2018. He served for 6 years (2013–2019) as President of the Japan Gastroenterological Society (JGES).

Dr. Tajiri has been recognized many times for his distinguished research achievements, receiving the Japanese Cancer Association Award in 1987, an Honorary Membership Award from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) in 2007, and the Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund Prize in 2010. He received an International Service Award from the Sociedad InterAmericana de Endoscopia Digestiva (SIED) in 2016, ESGE Honorary Membership in 2016, and the Crystal Award (International Service Award) from ASGE in 2017. In addition, he delivered the first WEO Honorary Lectureship at APDW 2018 in Korea and Tasaka Sadataka’s Honorary Lecture at ENDO 2020 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He received the Hirofumi Niwa’s Memorial Award in 2021.

Dr. Tajiri (left) receiving ESGE Honorary Membership in 2016 from the then ESGE President Prof. Lars Aabakken (right).
Dr. Tajiri receiving the ASGE Crystal Award (International Service) at DDW 2017.