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The Japanese Psychological Association

Greetings from the President

Masao Yokota
Masao Yokota, President, MD, PhD

The Japanese Psychological Association (JPA) conducts a wide array of national and international psychology-related activities and programs. The JPA hosts annual academic conventions and issues two peer-reviewed periodicals: the Japanese-language Japanese Journal of Psychology and the English-language Japanese Psychological Research. In addition, Psychology World is a quarterly magazine that features informative articles and topics that attract both academic and non-academic audiences. The JPA also holds public symposia focusing on controversial contemporary issues, as well as an outreach program, Psychology Lectures for High Schoolers, to raise pre-college interest in this discipline. Other activities include financial support for research, and publication of the Psychology Monograph Series, summarizing symposia outputs, and textbooks for the JPA Certified Psychologist program.

The JPA is also active internationally. In addition to the English-language publication mentioned above, the JPA co-sponsors the annual Japan–China–South Korea tripartite symposium, encouraging active participation by its members. To promote international exchange programs, the JPA has concluded agreements with its counterparts in China, South Korea, Australia, and other countries.

Established in 1927, the JPA has long been home to a large body of basic and applied psychologists. The current membership is approximately 8,000, and more than 50,000 have been registered as JPA Certified Psychologists. Annually, about 3,000 new JPA Certified Psychologists are added to the register. In 2016, to accommodate the growing body of affiliated psychologists, we launched the JPA Certified Psychologist Network. This new branch of the JPA has started to host symposia, lectures, and other learning opportunities in many areas of the country. In an effort to organize JPA Certified Psychologists and promote their involvement with the JPA, the JPA’s regional headquarters are going to organize symposia and other programs, providing opportunities for networking and partnership with JPA members.

The newly established National Certified Public Psychologist program will have a significant impact on the psychological community. This new national licensing system has attracted a growing interest from related fields as well. Certified Public Psychologists will provide their expertise in coordination with a variety of professionals from medical and other disciplines. They may be required to assume responsibility for supervising professionals with diverse backgrounds from psychological perspectives. In addition, the higher education program for prospective Certified Public Psychologists will encompass a wide range of clinical psychology.

Due to the absence of a national psychologist licensure, many practicing psychologists have had a difficult time over the years in making their way in healthcare and other fields. We welcome the new national licensing system because it will open many doors for experts in psychology. While clinical psychological education comprises a significant part of the statutory requirements for becoming a Certified Public Psychologist, basic knowledge and skills in psychology are also essential. The JPA Certified Psychologist certificate ensures that the holder has a good level of basic knowledge and skills in psychology. We expect that the JPA’s certification system will be incorporated as part of the statutory requirements for applying for the Certified Public Psychologist examination, which will help clarify the differences and relationship between these psychology-related titles. Given the diverse range of psychological disciplines, the JPA will continue to play an important role as an academic body of both basic and applied researchers in psychology.

Through its various activities, the JPA contributes to psychological education and research in Japan, disseminating useful information to the public, and reaching out to a wide spectrum of stakeholders. We ask the members, JPA Certified Psychologists, and other interested parties for their suggestions and support.