About Us

Who we are

JMA is accredited asbr
a public interest incorporated association.

Providing Midwifery Care to All Women
 As a public interest incorporated association, JMA conducts various public welfare services and activities to support the reproductive health/rights of women and their families.

 The Japanese Midwives Association is a professional organization for registered midwives. Founded in 1955, it traces its roots to the Japanese Sanbas (an ancient expression for midwife) Association, the antecedent of JMA established in 1927.

 JMA assumes an important role in the development and promotion of high quality health care for women and childbearing families. Our association is committed to evaluating and refining the profession of midwifery. Midwives respect the normal process of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. The knowledge and practice of midwives allow them to provide the necessary support for women throughout the childbearing cycle.

 At times, the scope of midwifery practice has to expand in order to satisfy women’s needs in changing circumstances. JMA works to make it possible for the midwife profession to adjust to these special needs.

 JMA has been a member of International Confederation of Midwives(ICM) since 1955. JMA has been participating both local and global projects and conferences concerning the healthcare of women, children and families.

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Establishment of JMA

 In 1899, the legal regulations for midwifery practices were issued in Japan2) . The adaptation of this law made way for the licensing of midwives, thus creating a method to better ensure practice by qualified professionals. As a result of this legal recognition, midwives gradually gained social status 1),2) .
 As a natural corollary to wider social acceptance, organizational activities of midwives became increasingly prominent at regional levels1),2) . In the early 20th century, regional professional associations of midwives sprung up throughout the country1) . As the practice of midwifery flourished, there was an increased demand for the establishment of headquarters to supervise these regional associations1) . The factors that accelerated these demands include: 1) a need for nationwide assurance of quality perinatal health care services; 2) the escalation of the War. The Japanese government supported these organizations because they helped stimulate governmental industrial projects, instill national policies, and distribute essential information throughout the country1),2) . The Japanese Sanbas Association, the antecedent of the Japanese Midwives Association, was established in this social context in 19271),2) .
 After the War, the General Head Quarters from the United States(GHQ) conducted the reformation of Japanese nursing as a part of the post-war rehabilitation effort1) . In 1948, the Public Health Nurse, Midwife and Nurse Law was issued. The major changes created by this law include: 1) the reestablishment of a formal nursing education; 2) the replacing of regional licenses for national ones; and 3) placing Japanese midwifery education after a formal nursing education1),2) . In addition, the title of “midwife” in Japanese, which used to be called “Sanba”, was changed to “Josanpu” under this law.
 The GHQ’s goal was to unify three nursing-related professions, which were public health nursing, midwifery and nursing. Following the GHQ’s lead, the three professional associations were unified and became the Japan Association of Midwifes, Nurses, and Public Health Nurses. In 1951, the name of the unified association was changed to the Japanese Nursing Association. The Japanese Sanbas Association was reestablished as a division of the midwifery profession at the nursing association1),2) .
 However, the newly established association met opposition by some of their member midwives. One possible reason for this conflict was because many midwives before the implementation of the Public Health Nurse, Midwife and Nurse Law had not had nursing qualification. Therefore some of them had been uncomfortable with staying in a “nursing” association and willing to make an independent association for “midwives”. As the voices for establishing an independent organization for midwives were magnified, the division of midwifery profession sent this issue to a congress and the bill was passed by a majority of votes1) . In 1955, Japanese Midwives Association was incorporated with 60,000 members. About 100 of midwives remained at the nursing association .

1.Japanese Midwives Association(ed.) (1998). The 60 Years of Japanese Midwives Association. Tokyo: Japan Midwives Association Publication [Japanese].
2.Okamoto, K. (1999). The History of Midwifery Practices in Japan. Perinatal Care, (225), pp.55-68 [Japanese].
3.Watanabe, N. & Okamoto, K. (2000). Japanese Nursing Association and Japanese Midwives Association: The History and Issues. Josanpu-zasshi, 54(12).34-38 [Japanese].

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Histry of JMA

1927 Nihon Samba Kai (predecessor of JMA) formed with a membership of about 50,000. Ai Tsuge becomes president.
1946 Nihon Samba Kangofu Hokenfu Kyokai (predecessor of Japanese Nursing Association) established. (Nihon Samba Kai joins its Samba Division)
1947 The journal Hoken to Josan (Health and Midwifery) first published.
1948 Nihon Samba Kangofu Hokenfu Kyokai changes its name to Nihon Kango Kyokai (Japanese Nursing Association), and Samba Division to Josanpu Division.
1953 Fuku Yokoyama elected as a member of the House of Councilors. (The number of votes cast for her was 307,389, while the membership of JNA was 405,154)
1954
Fuku Yokoyama participates in the inauguration assembly of ICM as an observer in her capacity as representative of JNA.
Joins ICM.
1955
The majority of midwife members leave JNA to form Nihon Josanpu Kai (Japanese Midwives’ Association). (First general assembly, held in Atami, Shizuoka, elects Fuku Yokoyama as president)
The 10th Academic Conference of Midwives held.
1957 President Yokoyama and Vice President Miyoko Tanaka participate in the 11th ICM Congress in Stockholm.
1958 The name of the JMA journal changed from Hoken to Josan to Josanpu (Midwife).
1959 JMA President Yokoyama re-elected to the House of Councilors for the second term.
1965 Maternity Home Section established with Isono Hoshino as its chief.
1967 JMA President Yokoyama re-elected to the House of Councilors for the third term.
1968 Ogya Kenkin (Collection of Contributions for disabled children) begins.
1976 New guidelines for midwifery practice issued.
1977 JMA headquarters office opens on the 4th floor of the newly constructed Tokyo Midwives’ Association Hall.
1987 Takako Ito becomes president
1990 The 22nd ICM Congress held in Kobe with a participation of about 6000 from 53 countries.
1991 Takako Ito re-elected as president.
1992 Rinko Taga becomes president.
1994 Rinko Taga re-elected as president.
1995
Three-specialist-section system established.
Map of Maternity Homes Nationwide published.
1996
Rinko Taga re-elected as president for the third term.
Long-Term Training Course for Prospective Private Practice Midwives started.
1998
Kazuko Ishizuka becomes president.
Child-Rearing and Women’s Health Support Centers established in 15 chapters.
Manual for Maternal and Child Support in Disasters published in the wake of the Great Hanshin Earthquake.
1999
Manual for Private Practice Midwives published.
The journal Josanpu to be distributed to each member starting from Vol.53, No.2 (May issue)
2000
Kazuko Ishizuka re-elected as president.
JMA votes in favor of introducing male midwives, which instantly spurs opposition campaigns.
Manual for the Establishment of Child-Rearing and Women’s Health Support Centers published.
Ogya Kenkin renamed as Sukusuku Akachan Kenkin.
2001 Child-Rearing and Women’s Health Support Centers established in 47 chapters nationwide.
2002
Junko Kondo becomes president.
Manual for Puberty Education and Guidance published.
2003 The Japanese name of JMA changed to Nihon Josanshi Kai.
2004
Junko Kondo re-elected as president.
Guidelines for Maternity Home Services approved by the general meeting and issued.
Midwives’ Manual on Prevention of Child Abuse published.
2005
Partial revision of the Article of Association approved by the 2005 ordinary general meeting in Oita on May 26.
Junko Kondo begins her first term as president under the new Article of Association.
2006
Audiovisual Material for Puberty Education by Midwives published.
Manual on Disaster Support by Midwives published.
A Statement by Midwives published.
2007 Cerebrated the 80th anniversary of foundation and acquisition of the Japanese Midwives Association Hall
2009
Naomi Kato becomes president.
Torikoe Maternity Home opens.
2010
The policies Concerning Midwifery, a statement by Midwives published.
The Japanese Midwives Publishing Corporation was established.
2011 Kiyoko Okamoto becomes president.
2012 JMA accredited as a public interest incorporated association.

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