First of all, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to those affected by the Kumamoto Earthquakes. We pray for the earliest possible recovery of the affected regions.

The 58th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists will be held in Kagoshima City from March 16 (Thursday) to March 18 (Saturday), 2017. The venue will be the Korimoto campus of Kagoshima University. Although we have few local organizing committee members, four, we aim to do our best in cooperating with members of the society in Kyushu and Okinawa regions so that participants will be satisfied with the contents of the annual meeting. We are hoping for a good turnout at the annual meeting.

Twenty one years has passed since an annual meeting (37th Annual Meeting in 1996) was held in Kagoshima. At that time, the management of the annual meeting and the contents of presentations were much different from those of recent annual meetings. This is because the science of plant physiology has made significant progress along with technological development, which was not expected 20 years ago. How will the world be 20 years from now? Will innovative technologies leading to the resolution of various global food and environmental problems be developed? It may be that the annual meeting will be held at a virtual venue and that members all over the world can freely participate in discussions in their own languages with the help of an automatic translation system based on artificial intelligence. We hope that members joining the annual meeting in Kagoshima will actively discuss such research topics and experience a memorable meeting while also allowing the society to dream of a better world 20 years from now.

Since the inauguration of the Kyushu Shinkansen line, Kagoshima has become easily accessible from Honshu and Shikoku islands. The Korimoto campus of Kagoshima University is located approximately 1.2 km south of JR Kagoshima-Chuo Station. People can easily access the campus by street car or bus from the station. In the 58th Annual Meeting, the Education Center, Student Community Plaza and gymnasium will be used as venues. We will draw up a plan for the annual meeting considering ideas from members and following the methods of previous annual meetings. With the aim of fostering young researchers who will play active roles in the near future in a wide range of sciences, we will also continue the program of poster presentations by high school students.

Kagoshima is an attractive region with the grandeur of nature represented by Sakurajima and Kirishima, a history realized through the enterprising spirit of our predecessors, and a food culture nurtured by the warm southern climate. The days after the annual meeting are national holidays in Japan. We hope you will visit Kagoshima to enjoy not only the society activities but also the beauty of the region. On behalf of the local organizing committee, I sincerely encourage members to visit Kagoshima.

Toshiki Uchiumi
Kagoshima University
Chair of the Local Organizing Committee of the 58th JSPP Annual Meeting