1st International Symposium on Kampo Medicine
1st International Symposium on Kampo Medicine

Aims of the symposium

  • Takashi Ito, PhD, M.D.

    President, the Japan Society for Oriental Medicine

  • Takashi ITO

Awareness of Traditional Medicine (TM) is growing worldwide. The International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision (ICD-11), which includes a new TM chapter, came into effect in January 2022. This chapter standardizes a harmonization of concepts among Japan, China, and Korea, and is the result of discussions and efforts that have taken place for many years. The Japan Society for Oriental Medicine (JSOM) has planned this international symposium as a commemoration of the start of the inclusion of the TM chapter in ICD-11, in order to introduce modern Japanese Kampo medicine to the world.

In Japan, we have different medical system such those that China and Korea have. Our medical system is based on Western medicine. However, in Japan, medical doctors can prescribe Kampo medicine, even together with Western-style medicine, under coverage by the national health insurance system. It is reported that 80% of medical doctors have experience of prescribing Kampo medicine in Japan. Our Kampo medicine may be at the top of the world both systemically and academically in regard to the integration of TM and Western medicine. However, many problems still require solutions; for example, we have not yet delivered the excellency of modern Japanese Kampo Medicine to the world.

The pandemic of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) , which began in January 2020, has spread worldwide and is having great effects on medicine, even on TM. China has reported that they have used traditional Chinese medicine as the main treatment for mild to severe cases of COVID-19 all over the country to successfully suppress the infection before vaccination. However, most countries are not able to make use of TM in the same way that China has, because they consider that TM for COVID-19 does not have enough evidence. As for Japan, the same collective TM as was implemented in China was hardly performed on the front lines of COVID-19 treatment, but JSOM members have tried to use Kampo medicine and have presented some case reports.

The JSOM has promoted clinical research of Kampo medicine and asked our members for benefaction to fund the studies.

The JSOM had hosted no international symposium since its start in 1950. Online meetings have been rapidly developed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. International conferences are now therefore being performed more easily than before. Many kinds of international barriers in academic exchange are being removed. We hope many researchers and practitioners will participate in this symposium.

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