St Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan

FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence

Since its founding in 1971, St. Marianna University School of Medicine (SMU) has placed a great emphasis on building the ideal environment for medical education through its University Hospital, Juniro Nursing College, Graduate School and Basic Medical Research Institute. SMU was accredited as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence at Kawasaki in December 2007, the first in Asia. Dr Michel D’Hooghe, the chairman of the FIFA Medical Committee, officially presided over the inauguration of the centre on 14 December 2007. SMU is comprised of three university hospitals, one research institute and one affiliated sport-specific clinic. The FMCE is led by Prof. Haruhito Aoki, who is the former chairman of the Sports Medical Committee of the Japan Football Association and a former medical committee member of the Asian Football Confederation. SMU-FMCE offers comprehensive medical care for athletes from amateur to professional levels.

Medical services include orthopaedic surgical treatment, physical rehabilitation, and cardiovascular assessment of players and referees, with complete cooperation across all clinical and basic science departments. In addition to clinical work, SMU-FMCE teaches sports medicine to medical students and residents. The Basic Research Institute of the university is presently conducting research into cartilage and muscle repair. In 2008, the Yokohama City Sports Medical Centre became an affiliated clinic of SMU-FMCE.

This clinic is located in Yokohama International Stadium, where the final match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup™ between Brazil and Germany was held. The main responsibilities of this centre include: 1) treatment and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries, 2) pre-season medical assessment of cardiovascular function in football players in order to prevent sudden death, and 3) kinesiology analysis to check the risk factors of chronic injuries. As an FMCE in one unit, both SMU and the Yokohama City Sports Medical Centre provide medical care for the football players of three J-League (Japan Professional Football League) clubs and two senior high school football clubs, and for international referees.

In 2014, SMU-FMCE invited a research fellow from the Netherlands to start collaborative research work. The invited research fellow is Dr Vincent Gouttebarge, who is currently the Chief Medical Officer of the worldwide players’ union (FIFPro), and Assistant Professor of the Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The main study project is to investigate mental health disorders in professional football players, and this study was approved by the Ethics Committee of SMU. This is now one of the most active international research projects at the centre.

Established 1971
Accredited as FMCE since December 2007
Orthopaedic surgeons and residents: 51 (spine surgeon, hand surgeon, foot & ankle specialist, knee & hip surgeon, paediatric orthopaedic surgeon, joint replacement specialist), and 5 sports medicine specialists 
Financial turnover > USD 700 million

*Prof. Haruhito Aoki M.D. *
Director/Head of FMCE 
2-16-1, Sugao, Miyamae-ku
Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 216-8511, JAPAN
Tel.: +81-44-977-8111 Ext 3118
Mobile: +81 090 7849 1116