Japan has a high rate of incidence of cleft lip and cleft palate, second only to congenital heart disorders. Cleft lip and cleft palate together have the highest rate of incidence of externally observed congenital abnormalities, affecting one in 500 people in Japan, or about 250,000 out of a total population of 125 million. The Japanese Cleft Palate Association has a number of key aims: advocating for higher standards of skill and expertise in the treatment and prevention of cleft lip and cleft palate conditions; promoting medical advances in the field; and pursuing health care research and training programs. Cleft lip and cleft palate can lead to a variety of medical conditions that extend beyond conventional diagnosis, including suckling disorders and dystithia in newborns, esthetic corrections, speech and mastication difficulties and even middle ear inflammation.
The Japanese Cleft Palate Association pursues a multidisciplinary approach spanning a wide range of fields including orthodontics, oral surgery, plastic surgery, voice and speech, prosthetic dentistry, pedodontics, otorhinolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) and general health care. This year we have launched an accreditation scheme for specialists in a number of key areas.
The Japanese Cleft Palate Association was formed in 1962 as the Japanese Cleft Palate Speech Therapy Forum, which was subsequently reconstituted as the Cleft Palate Study Group in 1970 before becoming the Japanese Cleft Palate Association in 1976. The Association operates as a medical association with over 3,200 members at present. Over a period of nearly 60 years the Association has played a significant role in promoting both medical treatment of and public awareness around cleft palate conditions. The new accreditation scheme is an important initiative to boost training and education standards in this area.
The Japanese Cleft Palate Association is committed to producing better treatment outcomes for patients and their families in key fields such as surgery, orthodontics, speech therapy and dental treatment, from birth through to adulthood. International exchange of ideas and insights is central to this aim. To this end, we are proud to announce that the Association will be hosting the 15th International Congress on Cleft Palate and Related Craniofacial Anomalies in 2025. This great honor has been bestowed on Japan in recognition of our outstanding contribution to cleft lip and cleft palate diagnosis and treatment. The Association looks forward to your continued support and involvement in ensuring the success of the Congress as well as the further development of the Association.