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JUNE 2014 IS AN extremely important month in FCCJ history. On Thursday the 26th we’ll be holding the first Annual General Membership Meeting (AGMM) as a public interest incorporated association (koeki shadan hojin).

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If all goes as planned, we will finalize the voting to elect our new Board members — three Associate Members and six Regular Members. Associate candidates will be chosen based on the number of nominations they have received from Associate Members. However, only Regular Members can vote in this election, either by absentee ballot or in person at the AGMM.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this election. Decisions made by the new board members will deeply influence the future of the Club and its survival. I ask you to please choose candidates very carefully, with a clear understanding of their true character and intent. Are they committed to the Club, judicious, trustworthy, without a personal agenda and able to participate effectively as part of a team?

Also during the AGMM, the Board of Directors will give Members the option to vote on whether or not to move the Club. According to our new Bylaws, it is a decision ultimately made by the Board. But we feel in all fairness it should be the Members who decide. If given the green light, at the end of June the Board will sign a legally binding basic framework agreement with Mitsubishi Estate. This means we have agreed to move and the general financial terms have been settled.

Our agreement with Mitsubishi Estate will include a co-branding effort. Advantages for us include tapping into their huge business and social network to attract more FCCJ Members, and gaining wide Member benefits and networking opportunities. Mitsubishi Estate’s gain would be a combination of a CSR (corporate social responsibility) and public relations boost along with a closer connection with journalists and newsmakers.

Our Marunouchi Discovery Tour on May 22, organized by Mitsubishi Estate’s Tatsuo Nishimoto, gave us a fascinating overview of the company’s 100-year history and revitalization efforts in the area. After a PowerPoint presentation and diorama map discussion, we headed out for a stroll through the neighborhood. Stops included the Shin Marunouchi Building to see the innovative “Egg Japan” office and support facility for entrepreneurs, and their “Ecozerria” urban ecology initiatives. A guided tour of the historically preserved Meiji Seimei Kan and view of the reconstructed Mitsubishi Ichigokan were also highlights. Indeed, our move would enable us to remain strategically at the heart of this vibrant, historical district — where news is made.

Lucy Birmingham

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