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Number 1 Shimbun

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IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE start of the first leg of the Hokkaido Bullet train between Aomori and Hakodate, the Special Projects Committee arranged a press tour to Aomori and Akita in the Tohoku region and Hakodate in Hokkaido from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

Escorted by a matagi (a traditional bear hunter), six journalists took a short trek in the 12 Lakes area in a nature reserve, where they could admire the autumn leaves in the beech and maple forests for which the region is famous. They could also experience the sight of the season’s first snows in the local mountains.

In Hakodate’s Morning Market the party could experience the unique squid-fishing pool where visitors can fish for live squid. The price tag per creature depends on the market supply and is usually in the range of ¥800 to ¥1,000. Bad weather had prevented the local fishermen from sailing and had driven up the prices. Party member Hui Zhao caught a specimen costing ¥1,600, which was then cut, roasted and eaten by the FCCJ members.

In comparison to the rural farming villages of Tohoku, Hakodate – which was one of the first international treaty ports opened at the end of the Tokugawa government – shows a turn-of-the-century sophistication thanks to its churches and western-style restaurants.

The press visit was supported by the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA), the tourism arm of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.          – Haruko Watanabe




IN 2017, THE FCCJ will start a new initiative: “FCCJ in-house Networking,” bringing together working journalists and PR officials of associated member companies. It is the brainchild of the Club’s Membership Marketing Committee, of which I – PR director at Wacom, Co. Ltd. – am a member.

I became an Associate Member of FCCJ in May 2015 in order to develop and strengthen Wacom’s relationships with the foreign media. Club programs, such as “Meet the Press” – the series of speeches by bureau chiefs of the leading foreign media – are useful in that respect as we can get acquainted with the people involved in the program. Building on this momentum, the MMC is planning to begin a new initiative called “FCCJ in-house Networking” between working journalists and PR officials of associated member companies.

Specifically, this program offers a platform for match-making among journalist members, their colleagues and company PR representatives. Company PR officials will speak about their company’s business and products/services so that journalists can get in-depth, first-hand information direct from the source. Each session, which will last from one to one-and-a-half hours, will consist of presentations and Q&A sessions with representatives from two or three companies.

There are many opportunities in Japan, “hidden gems” one might call them, waiting for discovery by journalists. Some of them, the MMC believes, might be right under our noses, within the walls of the Club itself. – Ted Kanno



The FCCJ is offering a special deal for new Associate Members. From the beginning of September to the end of the year, those joining are eligible for a ¥100,000 DISCOUNT off of the regular fee of ¥300,000.

If successfully approved, the applicants will be able to enjoy all the member benefits: attendance at all the major press conferences and professional and social events; dining services at the Main Bar, Pen & Quill Executive Dining area and the Masukomi Sushi Bar; special discounts on sports, arts and cultural events; free wi-fi, half-price parking, the Club’s monthly magazine; and access to reciprocal press clubs around the world.

Present members can also benefit. A ¥20,000 restaurant voucher will be given to those who introduce successfully approved new Associates. For more information, or to pick up an application form, go to the front desk.



Published in: December 2016

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