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Number 1 Shimbun

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FAMILY, FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES gathered at the FCCJ on May 20, to honor and remember long-time baseball journalist Wayne Graczyk, who helped to make the national game easier to understand and appreciate for generations of fans and players alike.

Tributes came from both Japanese professional baseball and Major League Baseball representatives, sports media, as well as current and former baseball greats, including Sadaharu Oh. Colleagues, such as the Japan Times’ Jason Coskrey, told stories of how Wayne helped them to raise their reporting games, always with a constructive good humor and passion to tell the best story possible.

Friends including Marty Kuehnert, Bob Whiting and MLB’s Jim Small, relayed the many moments of Wayne’s unsolicited help and unflappable positive attitude, as well as his unrelenting search for a good cheeseburger. Bobby Valentine, former manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines, was also there.

The memorial event was concluded by a touching video retrospective by son Randy, and words of remembrance from wife Yoshiko. And, as Wayne would have it on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, baseball, with the Yomiuri Giants playing the Yokohama BayStars, in a replay of their 2016 Climax Series donnybrook. The BayStars defeated the Giants 6-4, with Utsumi taking the loss for Yomiuri and Lopez with a big blast for Yokohama.

– Dan Sloan



AFTER MEDIA REPORTS OF “hunger strike” protests by foreign detainees against conditions at the Tokyo Detention Center of the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau of the Justice Ministry, the FCCJ Special Projects Committee organized a visit on June 7 to investigate the situation. The reports also included the forceful removal of a few detainees who had refused to return to their quarters.

Shigeo Ogata, Public Liaison Officer at the Detention Center, explained to the four FCCJ Regular-Member participants that six detainees had been taken to the Center’s hospital, but five of them were released on the same day. Only one remained in the hospital for a few days as he had swallowed the edge of an electric shaver.

Public Liaison Officer Shigeo Ogata, briefs Aki Miyazaki, Li Miao and Khaldon Azhari.

According to Ogata, the total number of detainees as of June 5 was 551 men and 177 women; of the total, 77 detainees were Chinese nationals. A request to inspect a vacant detainee room was rejected for privacy reasons. He also stated that nurses and doctors provide regular health checks, and halal and vegetarian dishes are offered to those who have religious dietary restrictions.

Under Japan’s immigration and refugee laws, 13,361 people from 108 countries and regions were ordered to leave Japan during 2016.                                

– Haruko Watanabe

Published in: July 2017

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