In 2011, Japan was hit by the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake, resulting in a large number of injuries and deaths. We would like to express our sincere condolences to the victims of this disaster. We would also like to express our appreciation for the international support that we received from various countries. Recovery from the disaster has progressed considerably. Many international conferences are once again beginning to be held in Japan.

The AR forum was held in 2010 with the main theme of problems and safety in drug treatment for allergic rhinitis, with a focus on antihistamines. Dr Mitsuhiro Okano of Okayama University and Dr Syuji Yonekura of Chiba University gave a presentation on the initial treatment for Japanese cedar and cypress pollinosis. Dr Naoki Shimojo of Chiba University and Dr Kodo Sato of Meirikai Chuo General Hospital gave a presentation focusing on the safety of antihistamines in children and pregnant women. Dr Takeo Tsujii of Nihon University lectured on impaired performance of people taking antihistamines. Furthermore, we invited Dr Joaquim Mullol of Hospital Clinic IDIBAPS in Barcelona, Spain, to make a presentation on the ARIA guidelines with a special emphasis on antihistamines. Dr Mullol conducted research with me when I worked at the NIH laboratory under Professor Dr Kailner. At the forum, we reestablished our friendship and engaged in deep discussions.

This was the eighth AR forum, and discussions on allergic rhinitis continued. Discussions were held on new therapies, drugs, and issues regarding biomarkers. Japan is in a very unique situation because Japanese cedar forests, the cause of Japanese cedar pollinosis, account for 12% of the entire landmass of the country. Another major problem is the increasing areas of Japanese cypress forests. In Japan, research on allergic rhinitis has been performed by otorhinolaryngologists who directly examine nasal cavities in an attempt to establish various types of evidence. As guest editors, we will be pleased if the advanced clinical research presented at the AR Forum receives critical review from our international peers.

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.