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Friday, January 22, 2016, 18:30 - 20:30

Please join us on January 22 to drink a toast to the life of Jim Lagier, a former FCCJ president and former Associated Press bureau chief, whose four-decade career included in-depth reportage on nuclear tests in the Pacific, filing the bulletin on Robert F. Kennedy's death, and heading the AP coverage of the devastating Kobe earthquake in 1995.

He passed away on November 21 at his home in Walnut Creek, California, where he had been receiving hospice care. He was 80 years old.

A native of Manteca, California, Lagier joined the AP in Honolulu in 1962 and retired in 2001 as chief of the Tokyo bureau. The two locations were fitting bookends to a career that also took him to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Columbus, Ohio, and Fresno, California, as a reporter, newsroom manager and executive.

During his tenure as AP bureau chief in Tokyo from 1993 through 2001, Lagier served as FCCJ president in the 1995-96 administrative year. He was asked to run for FCCJ president because the Club needed a solid representative of a major news organization to head the Club on its 50th anniversary year, although he had been in Tokyo for only two years.

At the 50th anniversary party, he expressed his sincere admiration for the Club, saying, "Its membership consists of some of the most memorable journalists, scalawags and hangers-on as you can find anywhere: petulant, irritating, crusty, crotchety, witty, caring, childish, emotional, sentimental, articulate, opinionated, cynical, rude, hard-drinking, hard-driving. That's the short list."

Because of the high yen and Japan's economic downturn, Club membership had dropped to a low of about 1,700. He orchestrated a membership drive that helped increase the number to more than 2,000 in five months.

He was a paternal figure at AP Tokyo and the FCCJ – a loving and caring father of a famous family in Japan. And he was loved by everyone around him wherever he was.

We look forward to welcoming you on this occasion.

Members planning to attend are kindly asked to inform the reception desk (03-3211-3161) so that the club staff can make appropriate preparations.

Suvendrini Kakuchi
FCCJ President


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