I am pleased to share that I assumed the Presidency of the Myopia Society Japan in late October 2022.
Myopia is currently increasing worldwide. This is particularly true in East Asia, which has reportedly seen a fourfold increase during the 50 years since the 1970s. The Myopia Society Japan was formed in September 2015 in response to the pandemic of myopia, with the aim of investigating the causes of myopia and enlightening society based on those results. Dr. Kazuo Tsubota (currently Professor Emeritus of Keio University) served as our founding President. Convening initially in October of 2016, the Society shifted to a hybrid format of online and in-person meetings from 2020 to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, we have continued our mission of sharing the latest findings in the field of myopia to the world.
Nationwide research studies for the myopia prevalence have not been conducted although Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is releasing annual reports of uncorrected visual acuity distribution among elementary and junior high school students based on the School Health Statistics Survey. A regional study published in 2019, however, reported that the prevalence of myopia among junior high school students in Tokyo was nearly 95%, exceedingly high among East Asian countries. Myopia is not simply a refractive error requiring correction. We now know that as myopia increases in degree, so does the risk of diseases causing visual impairment such as glaucoma, maculopathy, and retinal detachment, making establishment of interventional treatment for myopia progression itself an acute need.
The Myopia Society Japan will continue our efforts to contribute to society by elucidating the epidemiological, clinical, and biological mechanisms of myopia progression to protect individuals from myopia.
Myopia Society Japan
President Toshihide Kurihara
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology,
Keio University School of Medicine