Junko Kyozuka,
JSPP President

I, Junko Kyozuka from the Graduate School of Life Sciences at Tohoku University, have been appointed as the president of the Japan Society of Plant Physiology for a term of two years starting from March 16, 2024. I have been actively involved in the activities of the society since starting university-based research in 1995, primarily focusing on presentations and discussions at annual meetings and publishing papers in the society's journal, Plant & Cell Physiology (PCP). I have also participated in various capacities in the management of the society, including as a committee member, operating committee member, delegate, and director, and have had the opportunity to be involved in the editing of the society's journal as a member of the editorial executive committee. I also gained experience in organizing annual meetings as the chairperson of the organizing committee for the 64th Annual Meeting held in Sendai in 2023. Through these various activities within the Japan Society of Plant Physiology, I have learned a great deal. However, while I am somewhat anxious about taking on the role of president, I am heartened by the fact that I have been chosen by the members, and I am committed to providing support during my two-year term to ensure the continued growth and advancement of the society.

Thanks to the efforts of past presidents and stakeholders, the Japan Society of Plant Physiology became a general incorporated association (non-profit) in 2014, and the society's journal, PCP, could be published without relying on research funds through a profit-sharing agreement with Oxford University Press. Committees such as the Gender Equality Committee and the International Committee have been established, and a system has been established to support members' research activities from various perspectives. Furthermore, through activities such as the operation of "Everyone's Forum", led by the Public Relations Committee, and the publication of books explaining the charm of plants, the society has contributed to expanding the public's interest in plant science and . Former Society President Takayuki Kohchi made recommendations for the future of the Society in "Proposals for Future Activities of the Japan Society of Plant Biology," promoting initiatives such as waiving PCP publication fees for members, establishing the Plant Science New Technology Working Group, providing travel support for young members to attend the Taiwan-Japan Plant Biology 2023 conference, and establishing a senior member system. Thus, the Japan Society of Plant Physiology has steadily operated as a leading group in Japanese plant science since its inception.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, which restricted the activities of people around the world for nearly three years since the end of 2019, has significantly hindered our research activities. As is well known, the 61st Annual Meeting scheduled for March 2020 in Osaka was reduced to abstract-only presentations, and the 62nd Matsue Annual Meeting and the 63rd Tsukuba Annual Meeting were held online. The pandemic has been an unfortunate time for everyone, but particularly for university students, graduate students, and young researchers. For them, it has been a significant loss in terms of opportunities to build research networks early in their careers as researchers. Interaction with others is essential for research. To conduct research at the international level, it is important to build international networks and have research colleagues across the world. Although activity restrictions gradually eased in mid-2022, research exchanges resumed, and the 2023 Sendai Annual Meeting was held in person, issues such as rising prices and a weaker yen in other countries have made it difficult for participation in international conferences and visits to overseas research laboratories. Additionally, in recent years we have been faced with the problem of declining research capabilities in Japan and the resulting decrease in our international presence. Promoting diversity, including the appointment of young people, is an essential agenda item in a shrinking society facing population decline and economic stagnation.

In such an era and society, I believe that it is necessary to promote comprehensive internationalization from various perspectives to revitalize the Japan Society of Plant Physiology. To this end, in addition to past efforts, we will implement special projects to support members' international research activities. Fortunately, thanks to the PCP publishing system built by past presidents and stakeholders, the Japan Society of Plant Physiology is financially sound. We intend to use this solid financial situation effectively to support the research activities of all members without leaving anyone behind, including young researchers, who will shape the future.

Finally, I would like to ask for your further support for our society's journal, PCP, which supports the activities of the Japan Society of Plant Physiology (through paper submission, citation, and peer review).