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I WAS OUT OF JAPAN for much of September, but I didn’t dodge all of the typhoons, arriving back in Japan in the early hours of Sept. 19 to a good drenching over several days.

Such weather does have an upside: Nothing beats a good read when it’s pouring down outside.

I’m reading The Power of Habit, by New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg. I usually stay well away from books in the so-called self-help genre, but this is interesting stuff on the latest research and case studies on how habits form and can be changed.

My other reading included the minutes of FCCJ Board meetings and a General Membership Meeting written in September and October of 1975. I realize that sounds very sad, but as the Club is now in the process of moving, the minutes of 41 years ago make for a good read as they deal with the FCCJ’s move from its previous location to the current premises in the Yurakucho Denki building.

The minutes support the adage, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” That is, the concerns of members in 1975 mirror those in the Club today regarding moving premises.

I’ll paraphrase, but among the questions in the minutes is this one: “Will we be able to afford the rent in the bigger space in the Denki Building?” Countered by: “We won’t get a better offer than the one by Mitsubishi.” And they go on: “The Denki Building is inconvenient,” said some. “We have to get our finances in order before we move,” and “The Club should get smaller not bigger,” were some others.

One discussion involved moving from a walk-in club
to one on the 20th floor. Some members said having to use elevators was inconvenient and would damage the Club’s prestige.

As those voices of 41 years ago echo through FCCJ Board, committee and bar meetings today, I unfortunately will no longer be involved, as I’m leaving Japan for a job in Hong Kong. You are left in the most capable hands of Khaldon Azhari as FCCJ President.

There are many people I’d like to thank for the work they do for the FCCJ, but that would fill several pages. Instead I’ll limit it to two “volunteers" I’ve worked most closely with in the past year or more: Bob Whiting and Kurt Sieber. They are both unsung heroes, dedicating enormous amounts of time and energy to the Club to try and make it the best it can be. I salute you, gentlemen. It’s been an honor.

      Peter Langan

 

KHALDON AZHARI has been selected to replace Peter Langan upon his resignation.

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