Hiroo Fukuda,
JSPP President

JSPP President Ikuko HARA-NISHIMURA

I am honored to accept appointment as president of the Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists (JSPP) for the two years beginning March 18, 2016. I have had the privilege of involvement with the JSPP for many years. In particular, my own research has benefited from the many valuable discussions at the annual meeting and through papers published in Plant and Cell Physiology. Indeed, I have published more than fifty articles in PCP. I have had many papers rejected by the PCP as well, so by my calculations, I have submitted roughly two per year since I began as a researcher, and at least one paper per year has been published. I am grateful for that opportunity and I hope that I can contribute at least as much as the organization has done for me.

The environment surrounding the JSPP is changing radically. In the changing environment, JSPP has reformed various systems. The transition of the JSPP to a general incorporated association begun by then-President Yasunori Machida has been practically completed by outgoing President Ikuko Nishimura. Furthermore, thanks to the efforts of former President Machida, a profit-sharing agreement was reached with Oxford University Press regarding publication of PCP, and the financial support afforded by this partnership has enabled the JSPP to engage in diverse endeavors. In addition, successive presidents have contributed to continuing internationalization of the organization. The JSPP became an observer member of the Global Plant Council under former President Kazuo Shinozaki, and a full member under President Nishimura, who participated in the GPC meeting in Brazil.

I look forward to continuing the valuable work begun by the past leadership of the JSPP, in particular, by further expanding the annual meeting, a fundamental part of our society. I also believe that we cannot put off internationalization of the JSPP and plant physiology researchers in general. This means growing our international membership and increasing support for PCP. The publishing world is experiencing dramatic changes around the globe, with the capture of journal audiences by offerings from publishing groups, open access and China’s rise to the forefront. Amidst this changing environment, JSPP’s editorial committee and other leaders must together envisage ways to maintain and continue to develop PCP as a global-standard leader. Other issues that must be addressed by the organization are those of postdoc and tenured researcher employment and development of the next generation of young researchers. In the past, education of young researchers could be handled by each university, but in the rapidly changing environment of today’s society, I believe that the JSPP must also get involved. In April 2016, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s distinguished researcher fellow system begins as a program designed to support young investigators, and the Science Council of Japan is also planning a forum on this topic in September. Considering these trends and initiatives, I would like to join all of the JSPP members in supporting efforts toward employment of postdocs and tenured researchers in the area of plant physiology as well as the development of the next generation of young researchers.

None of these initiatives will progress without the participation of the society’s members. I call on all JSPP members to join me in working toward our goals.