The Japan Society of Logopedics and Phoniatrics


» Japanese Version

Hirohito Umeno

President of The Japan Society of Logopedics and Phoniatrics

It is my great honor and privilege to have been selected to serve as President of The Japan Society of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, and I pledge to perform my duties fully in keeping with the Society's proud history and interdisciplinary significance. During my three-year period of tenure, while carrying on the Society's diverse activities and overall directions, I will devote myself to further advancing its academic and educational pursuits, and to revitalizing the ties between its members weakened amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Above all, I will seek to enhance the Society's activities which help improve the situations of patients of voice and language disorders. I ask all members for your ever more active participation in our activities, and for your invaluable assistance, support and advice.

The Japan Society of Logopedics and Phoniatrics was founded in 1956. To celebrate our forthcoming 70th anniversary, we are planning commemorative events at our General Meeting in Kobe in 2025. Today, Society membership exceeds 1,600, including speech-language-hearing therapists, physicians, school teachers, research scholars, and participants from numerous other professions. Our academic areas span a broad spectrum centering on speech, language and hearing disorders but also extending to higher brain function, development and deglutition.

The scope of the Society's activities includes organization of an annual symposium of academic lectures, publication of a quarterly journal, and provision of research grants. Since 2020 we have also inaugurated a program of awards given to the three most outstanding articles appearing in the Society's journal in the respective areas of voice, speech and language, complemented by an award to the most promising effort among all featured articles. The awards are presented in a ceremony held at the Society's General Meeting, with recipients giving presentations of their works. In 2018 we released “Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Voice Disorders,” compiled jointly with The Japan Laryngological Association, and today we are preparing guidelines for diagnosing dysarthria. In 2019, with the generous assistance of former President Koichi Omori, we launched a project under which we periodically host educational workshops pertaining to voice disorders. Also in 2019, with the full-fledged support of former President Yukio Katori, we revised our DVD-ROM “Endoscopic Findings of Voice Disorders,” which was originally released in 2005. While carrying on the format of the earlier version, which had been well received, the new version covers all disorders using endoscopic videos of higher resolution, enabling its use as an educational tool of greater visual clarity. We hope the new work will be actively used by many members, as well as by individuals setting out to study logopedics and phoniatrics.

Recently, the Society has established a new certification system for individuals engaging in the fields of logopedics and phoniatrics. In April 2022 we published a text for acquiring certification as a logopedics and phoniatrics physician or therapist, followed in July with the release of a corresponding DVD program. Then on November 26, 2022 we conducted the first qualifying examination. Going forward, the exams will be conducted annually.

In the Japan of tomorrow, which will be increasingly impacted by the nation's declining birthrate and aging population, the Society's activities supporting the treatment of children and elderly individuals who have voice, language or hearing disabilities will be of great importance for maintaining language communication and sustaining the nation's culture. The Japan Society of Logopedics and Phoniatrics' members include specialists in a broad array of professions – experts with the potential, through joint research involving many facilities, to develop new treatments and produce major results in the basic research. My mentors taught me that two components are needed for achieving scholastic progress: competition and cooperation. For Society members, these translate to friendly rivalry to achieve new knowledge, and exchanges of information and joint research. I sincerely ask all members for your continued cooperation and guidance in the years ahead.