With the acknowledgement of the Japan Antibiotics Research Association (JARA), the International Editorial Committee, as well as the Nature Publishing Group (NPG), the decision to add the publications of the Society for Actinomycetes Japan (SAJ) to the publishing enterprise of The Journal of Antibiotics (JA) is truly a delight and heralds a future of significant promise and greater potential.

The SAJ was established in 1955, later merging with the Society for Applied Genetics of Actinomycetes, which was established in 1971. The SAJ received approval as a formal academic institution from the Science Council of Japan in 1985.

Academic institutions with fields of research specific to Actinomycetes are fairly unique and, to this day, have a vital role in fundamental and practical research on this group of microbes, many of which produce useful natural products.

In addition, as many of the authors of papers published by the JA are members of the SAJ, it is an institution that is closely related to JA and shares common interests. In this way, with the JARA and SAJ working together, we can look forward to major contributions to the development of the JA, as well as to the creation of much better publication opportunities for researchers in these related fields, not only for members of the SAJ, but also for researchers from around the world.

With the undertaking of this joint enterprise, a new Taxonomy/Ecology section will be established in the JA Editorial Committee, and Professor Masayuki Hayakawa of the University of Yamanashi and Dr DP Labeda of the National Center Agricultural Utilization Research, USA, will be welcomed as the first Section Editors. Hereafter, with the cooperation of all those involved with the JARA, SAJ and NPG, we will be working toward the further development and continuing improvement of the JA.