We were delighted to be invited to participate in the Brown Bear Association conference, held in Noboribetsu, Japan last week. We took the opportunity to talk about animal welfare and give examples on captive bear management from around the world. It was recognised that this was a first step in making changes in animal welfare improvements for bears in captivity in Japan, but was a welcome topic at the conference, were about 80 people including researchers, students and keepers attended the meeting. We also had the opportunity to participate in a panel Q&A at the end of the conference. Special thanks must for to Kaori Sakamoto for providing translation, Dr Matsumoto for inviting and organising our attendance at this conference, and Dr Tsubota the Director of the Brown Bear Association.