| Welcome to the 27th Congress of INTERASMA Japan/North Asia. As the President, it is a great honor to host the Congress in Kumamoto, Japan.
Prevalence rates of asthma have risen to between 3 and 15%. Guidelines for asthma, e.g., Global Initiative for Asthma：Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention, Japanese Guideline for Asthma（in Japanese）, and Japanese Guideline for Adults（in English）, have been helping us to improve the management and prevention of asthma. In spite of the progress, however, several issues remain：severe intractable asthma, aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease, and comorbidity in asthma, e.g. eosinophilic sinusitis, eosinophilic otitis media, EGPA（eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangitis）, and elderly asthma complicating with other obstructive pulmonary diseases including ACO（asthma COPD overlap）. In addition, poor inhaler technique leads to poor asthma control. Therefore, doctors, nurses and pharmacists need to instruct patients in how to correct poor inhaler technique.
To address these issues, we proposed that the major theme of this Congress be "Clinical Medicine and Basic Research for Maximizing Quality of Life for Asthmatics". In the Congress, we will have the opportunity to listen to a series of valuable lectures by outstanding figures from abroad and Japan covering many topics and to participate in a hands-on seminar for inhaler technique.
A series of big earthquakes struck Kumamoto on April 16, 2016 causing severe damage. Numerous structures collapsed. Kumamoto Castle, one of the finest castles in Japan, sustained extensive damage to its roof, buildings and famous stone walls. Now, restoration work has started. To encourage Kumamoto, I ask you to visit Kumamoto and participate in the Congress. I hope that you will enjoy Kumamoto, Mt. Aso, the Yamanami Highway on the way to Beppu, and Takachiho Valley. At the reception party in the evening on Oct. 5, you will enjoy Japanese sacred music and dance（Takachiho Kagura）which is old-fashoned, attractive and funny.
We are all looking forward to meeting you at the Congress.