2023 President Tomomichi OKANO

Executive Officer , LION Cporpration

May 2023

Message from Our New President

At the 69th Annual General Meeting and 459th Board of Directors Meeting, I was honored to be appointed president in the 2023 fiscal year. Although I am very uncertain whether an inexperienced academic from the industry will be able to fulfill this great role, I will do my best to face the future of the historic the Japan Oil Chemists’ Society (JOCS), with the weight of responsibility as the first president from industry in the 23 years since 2000. We look forward to your continued advice and encouragement.

The first thing we need to do in the future is to create new forms of academic conference activities, given that the novel coronavirus pandemic, which lasted for more than three years, is finally calming down. The impact of behavioral and face-to-face restrictions on the activities of academic societies was by no means small, and many important events had to be cancelled, curtailed, or held differently. However, we have also gained from this experience. The 2nd World Congress on Oleo Science, WCOS 2022, held in August last year, took advantage of the web conference feature and successfully concluded with not only many research reports from Japan, but also many programs including the new attempt of “Select Lectures,” the JOCS-AOCS joint meeting held in collaboration with the American Oil Chemistry Society (AOCS), the International Society for Fat Research Lectureship Series, and many other programs that were prepared and successfully completed. Nevertheless, one of the important roles expected of the conference is networking and deepening academic discussions. Taking advantage of online convenience and cost advantages, the 61st JOCS Annual Meeting in 2023 will be conducted face-to-face for the first time in four years so that these original functions can be fully realized. The people concerned are also devising ways to hold the reception, considering the social situation at the time. We look forward to your active participation. Similarly, we plan to continue holding various seminars and events, making full use of both real and digital media.

Another important issue for the future is to reaffirm the raison d’etre of JOCS to all the stakeholders that make up the society and to strengthen the sustainability of the association by creating a clear roadmap without neglecting difficult challenges, such as declining membership and financial pressures.

The Journal of Oleo Science (JOS), the flagship international journal of JOCS, has been included in the Directory of Open Access Journals, and the impact factor of JOS was also improved to 1.628. One of the strengths of JOCS is its broad base as an academic field, which has developed based on fats, oils, and interfacial science, and its high realization capability that exists on the same platform, from basic to applied technology. We believe that these are important tools for exploiting this advantage. In addition to accelerating internationalization by actively reaching out to AOCS and researchers in Asia, I would like to take the lead in transforming the way we work with other academic societies, as efforts that seamlessly straddle academic domains, especially health- and environment-related fields, will become mainstream in the future.

JOCS is also characterized by a high proportion of companies and corporate researchers in terms of both membership and financial composition. In the rapidly changing business environment of the future, the usefulness of the society for companies is expected to change significantly. Although this may not be appropriate, it may be necessary to seek a form of academic society with a high investment value. We would like to have a dialog with a wide range of people on this point and attempt a design, albeit in the short term.

I have been a member of JOCS since I was a student more than 30 years ago. I am grateful for the guidance I have received from many senior members of society, which has made me who I am today. I see my appointment as an opportunity to return the favor and I will continue to work to this end in the future. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.