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Table of Contents
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 175-176

In Memoriam: Professor Tsutomu Sakuta (1943–2020)

On behalf of the World Association of Social Psychiatry

Date of Submission21-May-2020
Date of Acceptance29-May-2020
Date of Web Publication14-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Driss Moussaoui
On behalf of the World Association of Social Psychiatry

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/WSP.WSP_44_20

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How to cite this article:
Moussaoui D, Mizuno M, Kallivayalil RA. In Memoriam: Professor Tsutomu Sakuta (1943–2020). World Soc Psychiatry 2020;2:175-6

How to cite this URL:
Moussaoui D, Mizuno M, Kallivayalil RA. In Memoriam: Professor Tsutomu Sakuta (1943–2020). World Soc Psychiatry [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 May 31];2:175-6. Available from: https://www.worldsocpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2020/2/2/175/292133

The World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASP) expresses its heartfelt condolences at the sudden and untimely demise of Professor Tsutomu Sakuta. He was the President of the WASP from 2003 to 2007 and presided over the 19th World Congress of Social Psychiatry in Prague, Czech Republic, October 2007. His successor was Professor Julio Arboleda Florez, who presided over the WASP from 2007 till 2010.

Professor T. Sakuta was born in Tokyo, Japan, on June 25, 1943. In 1968, he graduated from Keio University Faculty of Medicine in Tokyo, Department of Neuropsychiatry with an M.D., then a Ph.D. Keio University was established in 1858 and has been since a most prestigious one in Japan.

The main interest of Professor Sakuta was in forensic psychiatry (social aspects of delinquency among adolescents, infanticide, prison psychiatry in Japan, personality, and fostering). He received in 1994 the International Council Prison Medical Services Special award. In the 2003 Current Opinion in Psychiatry journal, he published a major article on “Constitutional and organizational elements of forensic psychiatry in Japan.”

In the early 2000s, Professor Sakuta was also coopted as a member of the board (executive committee) of the International Federation for Psychotherapy, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health

Another aspect of the contributions of Professor Sakuta was to promote international collaboration between countries for peace. He was the president of Japan International Cultural Exchange Foundation of which purpose was “to improve human culture and promote world peace through various international cultural exchange activities.” This was particularly visible when Professor Sakuta sponsored financially young psychiatrists in order for them to attend world congresses of Social Psychiatry with a sum of 10,000 US$ for each congress. This occurred in Marrakech (2010), Lisbon (2013), New Delhi (2016), and Bucharest (2019). The fellowships, 20 each time, were particularly appreciated by young psychiatrists. He also served as a mentor to the early career psychiatrists.

Professor Sakuta was directly involved in the organization of the world congresses of Social Psychiatry in 2001, 2004, and 2007. The 2001 WCSP was held in Agra, India, and was almost cancelled after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York; it was finally maintained and was successful under the leadership of Professor Shridhar Sharma.

During the Bucharest World Congress of Social Psychiatry, he insisted to have the 2022 WCSP in Nara, Japan, under the leadership of Professor Masafumi Mizuno. He repeated many times the importance of holding this congress in the oldest capital of Japan.

Professor Sakuta was always creative when it comes to education. He created the Japan University of Health Sciences from scratch which necessitated a huge effort.

On a more personal note, Professor Sakuta was a distinguished sportsman: Judo (Kuroobi, 5th dan), Ski (1st grade certificate of ski teaching), Shorinji Kenpo (2nd dan). Further, he understood and spoke English, German, Spanish, and Japanese.

The WASP shares the grief of his family. May his soul rest in peace.


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