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President

Thomas Høy Davidsen*, Jyllands-Posten

Bio will be announced later

1st Vice President

Monzurul Huq, Daily Prothom Alo

MONZURUL HUQ has been in journalism from his days as a free lancer while still a student in the late seventies. Huq later joined the United Nations as an Information Officer, but left in the late 1980s and moved to BBC London where he worked as a radio producer. He landed in Japan in mid-1990s to work at NHK radio and began working for a Bangladesh daily as their correspondent. When the editor of that newspaper launched a new daily, Prothom Alo, in 1998, Huq joined as their Japan correspondent, and is now East Asia Bureau Chief. He has authored a number of books on Japan and other issues, including a memoir reflecting on his journalism activities. He has been actively involved in Club activities throughout his tenure as a member of the FCCJ and served as President in 2009.

2nd Vice President

Robert Whiting, freelance

ROBERT WHITING is the author of several successful books on contemporary Japanese culture, including Tokyo Underworld, The Meaning of Ichiro, The Chrysanthemum and the Bat and the best-selling You Gotta Have Wa. He has published 20 other books in Japanese. He has written for Sports Illustrated, Time, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Japan Times as well as for Japanese publications, including Shukan Asahi and Bungei Shunju. He authored a manga series for Kodansha that sold 750,000 copies in graphic novel form. At present, he writes a weekly column for Yukan Fuji. He has lived in Japan on and off for the past 50 years, and is a graduate of Sophia University.

 

Secretary

Takashi Kawachi, Regular member

TAKASHI KAWACHI joined the Mainichi Shimbun in 1970, after graduation from the Keio University faculty of Law and Politics. He began his career as a local reporter at the newspaper’s Chiba branch. He was transferred to the political department in 1975, where he covered the Prime Minister’s office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Defense and the LDP. In 1988, he was assigned to Washington D.C as correspondent, where he covered the White House, the Department of Defense, two Presidential elections and the Gulf War. He was named foreign news editor in 1996 and editorial writer in 1998. In 2002, he became a Mainichi board director, manager of the Nagoya office, and later, head of the Tokyo digital media department. He is working as a freelance journalist since his resignation from the Mainichi in 2006.

 

Treasurer

Willem Kortekaas, Associate Member

WILLEM KORTEKAAS has been an Associate Member since 1983. Following a 25-year career in banking with ABN Bank and postings to Africa, Canada, the US and Japan, he set up a Japan-based consulting firm that focused on Japanese M&A in Europe. He is a director of several foreign owned companies in Japan. Past and present honorary functions include Chairman of the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Vice-chairman of the Japan-Netherlands Society, Vice-chairman of the European Business Community (EBC) and Member of the Expert Committee of the Japan Investment Council. He lives in Joetsu and is trying to become an expert of Niigata-ken sake.


Directors-at-Large

Khaldon Azhari, PanOrient News

KHALDON AZHARI is president of PanOrient News, an American media company producing TV News Packages and articles for wires and print publications, mainly in Arabic, with a focus on Japan and East Asia. Azhari has been the bureau chief of WAM (UAE-based news agency) and a correspondent for PETRA (Jordan News) since the mid-nineties. Additionally, as a former correspondent for various Arabic media such as MBC, CNBC Arabia, Dubai TV, he has been a regular contributor to BBC Arabic Radio and TV since the mid-nineties. Azhari has been the voice of Japan and East Asia to West Asia and the Arabic world for more than a quarter of a century and is a recipient of an award from the Japan-Arab Association for his contributions to media relations and for strengthening ties between Japan and the Arab countries.

Mehdi Bassiri, Associate member

MEHDI BASSIRI was a career diplomat with the Iranian foreign affairs ministry. He served at the Iranian Embassy in London England before his posting as first secretary to Iranian embassy in Tokyo in charge of consulate affairs and press relations. In 1980 he resigned his diplomatic career because of disagreements with the new Iranian revolutionary regime and established his own trading company. Immediately after becoming an FCCJ member, he became involved in the Club’s social activities, first joining the Associate Liaison Committee, and organizing an annual Persian New Year Night that drew capacity bookings to enjoy Iranian food and music. He has served as co-chair of the Membership Marketing committee, and chairman of the Wine Committee.  He has also been a long-time member of the Food and Beverage Committee, including serving as secretary, co-chair and chairman.

Warren Devalier, Associate member

WARREN DEVALIER has 50 years of career experience in finance, general management and entrepreneurship, with Citibank, Exxon Corporation, Chase Manhattan Bank, and Interface Inc., a consulting firm he founded in Japan to serve Asian clients in development of business and global leadership skills. He is an alumnus of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a professional coach certified under a joint program of the Executive Education Division of Columbia Business School and the Department of Organization and Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. A native of New Orleans, he displayed a passion for food and wine well before the word ‘foodie’ entered the English language. Rumor has it that he dabbles in a miscellany of hobbies, including long-distance running, poetry, Argentine tango, and flamenco guitar.

Abigail Leonard, Regular member

ABIGAIL LEONARD is a Tokyo-based journalist who covers Japanese politics and culture for print and broadcast news outlets in the US and Europe. She has written stories for the Washington Post, Newsweek and Vox; produced video pieces for the New York Times and radio stories for NPR, BBC and Deutsche Welle. Before
she moved to Japan, she wrote and produced long-form news documentary stories as a staff producer for PBS, ABC and Al Jazeera America and was also a lead writer for two news analysis programs: “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm.” Stories she's reported from Japan have earned a National Headliner Award and a James Beard Foundation Media Award Nomination. She was a 2011 East-West Center Japan Fellow and a 2010 UN Foundation Journalism Fellow.

 

Kanji

Kazuo Abiko, Freelance (Regular member)

KAZUO ABIKO is former AP general manager
for Northeast Asia. He served as FCCJ president
in 2001-2002. Following his retirement
from the international news agency in 2010,
he taught at universities on subjects related
to journalism as a part-time lecturer and
visiting professor until March 2017. In the
meantime, he also translated the AP's history
book "Breaking News" into Japanese, and
co-authored several books on international
reporting, journalism standards, and news
agencies. In addition to occasional writing
for various publications, he has been contributing
a monthly column on the state of U.S.
media to the Japan Newspaper Publishers
and Editors Association's weekly publication
since April 2013.

Associate Kanji

Makoto Honjo, Associate member

MAKOTO HONJO is a native of Tokyo, who
graduated from Keio University in 1973 and
joined Sumitomo Corporation. For the last
15 years at Sumitomo he was working on
acquisitions and disposals, something that
he continues to advise on as an independent
consultant. He is the author of the first Japanese
language academic paper on European
foreign labor, which appeared in the March
1973 issue of Gekkan Rodo Mondai. He is married
to Ann Sado who runs her own business
advising nonprofit organizations on diversity
and inclusion issues, and has a son Akira from
a previous marriage who is a practitioner of
Oriental medicine.

Ex-officio
Peter Langan, freelance

*PETER LANGAN has been in the news business in Asia for 30 years, with postings in Japan and Singapore, covering stories on the ground from Jakarta and Beijing to Mumbai, Ulaanbaatar and many points in-between. He was the Tokyo Bureau Chief of Bloomberg News from 2005 to 2009, and later as an Editor-at-Large led the bureau’s news team that won two SOPA awards for coverage of the Fukushima disaster. He is from the UK, more precisely the City of Liverpool-well known for producing lousy music and useless football teams, with the exception of Everton FC.

 

 

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