Digestive Disease Week-Japan (DDW-Japan) was held successfully in Yokohama April 15-18, 1998, under the management of Prof. Yoshiki Hiki, Chairman of the Steering Committee. DDW-Japan was carried out with the cooperation and participa tion of gastroenterological societies in Japan. Because the participat ing congresses each dealt with topics characteristic of particular fields, all participants could enjoy a rewarding experience and could gather relevant, up-to-date information about a wide variety of subjects in basic and clinical medicine. Prof. Rikiya Fujita, Chairman of the International Relations Com mittee, planned and conducted the International Symposium working together with researchers from foreign countries, thus making DDW Japan in 1998 a great success. The symposium provided a fascinating insight into the global situation, and the papers that were present ed are being published in this monograph, Recent Advances in Gastroenterology. As we all know, the world soon is going to enter the third millen nium. Therefore, treatments and medicines should not be limited to any single country or small area; instead, medical knowledge must be shared as a global resource, without regard to nationality, way of life, or social system. I hope that this monograph will playa useful role in the develop ment of gastroenterology all over the world, and I very much appre ciate the tremendous contribution of all authors for this publication.