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Number 1 Shimbun

NUMBER 1 SHIMBUN 2019

NUMBER 1 SHIMBUN 2019 (109)

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Attracting attention, and new members

06-1

Committee, members
Kaori Furuta, David Satterwhite, Willem Kortekaas (co-chair) and Keiko Packard meet.

 

The Membership Marketing Committee is tasked with raising the profile of the Club and attracting new members, Regular and Associate alike


By Julian Ryall

Over the course of an hour-long conversation, Willem Kortekaas does not come across as a man prone to hyperbole. So when he says the Club needs to attract new members in order to generate the revenue that we need to survive and thrive, then the rest of us would be wise to heed that suggestion.

FCCJ President Peter Langan approached Abby Leonard and Kortekaas earlier this year to resurrect the Membership Marketing Committee (after a considerable amount of time effectively in hibernation) and lift member numbers to levels that would enable the Club to cover the higher rent and costs associated with the new premises. Equally, the task was to attract new members to raise the Club’s profile and ensure that it remains the place “where news is made.”

Kortekaas, an Associate Member since 1983 and president of Euroact KK, serves as co-chair with freelance journalist Leonard, with Keiko Packard and David Satterwhite rounding out the four-strong committee and Kaori Furuta seconded from the Club.

There are around 1,600 associate members of the Club at present, and around 275 regular members. Ideally, Kortekaas said, the FCCJ would have a total membership of around 2,200 and a waiting list.

“There was always an assumption in the past that we would have a gradual increase in members, but that is not happening,” said Kortekaas. “We are getting some new members in both the journalists and associates categories, but they are only replacing the numbers that are dropping out, meaning that the total remains at about the same level.”

 

06-3

Co-chair Abby Leonard (above) also spearheaded the committee’s Journalism Learning Labs
(such as Temple University Law School’s Tina Saunders presenting “Journalism and Justice: Legal Reporting in Japan”, below).

06-2
 

ATTRITION CAN BE ATTRIBUTED to the Club’s “old hands” retiring or leaving Japan, while technology means that many journalists no longer need a bricks-and-mortar office to be able to do their job. And without a steady flow of significant press-related events, the Club begins to lose its appeal to some of the associates.

“The money that the Club needs is in the associate membership and we have to make ourselves attractive to that group of people,” said Kortekaas. “We need to be delivering well-organized and high-quality activities and programs that distinguish the FCCJ from all the other institutions around Tokyo.”

Equally, the Club is important to Japan’s media landscape for a number of reasons, he added. “The Club champions freedom of the press. This is the only organization here that still provides a place for people with opinions that deviate from the ‘official viewpoint’ to deliver their message,” he said, pointing to press conferences with the Dalai Lama and representatives of the Uighur community in exile.

The Club has also shown that it can play an important role when major news events happen in Japan and the eyes of the world are on this country, such as the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. Looking into the immediate future, the world’s press is going to be seeking a home-away-from-home when the Rugby World Cup kicks off this autumn and when the Tokyo Olympic Games and the Paralympics are staged next year. The committee is presently discussing a temporary membership system for journalists here to cover these global sporting events that goes beyond the present guest membership category.

“To some extent, journalists are less reliant on a physical Club,” admits Leonard. “Audio, video and still photos can be transmitted quickly over the Internet, there are a million ways to make free international calls; equipment is getting smaller and cheaper—but there are still services and technologies the Club can provide that would be too expensive for freelancers to afford on their own.”

 

SHE COUNTS THEM ON her fingers: broadcast-quality audio booths, a photography studio and—of course—“access to our incredible research librarians. The Club also offers camaraderie that technology can’t replace.”

The only way to bring in new members, Leonard and Kortekaas agree, is to be very proactive in reaching out to everyone who might be interested. The committee is in the process of contacting ambassadors in Tokyo to remind them that they qualify for honorary membership, an offer that a number have taken up, while a similar arrangement exists for the heads of foreign chambers of commerce in Japan. Again, memories are being jogged.

The committee plans to next contact the heads of prefectural offices in Tokyo to offer them honorary membership and to suggest that they might want to use the Club to promote their regions. Similarly, plans are in motion to invite the managing directors of regional newspapers across the country to become associate members, with the Marunouchi district’s extensive business community also seen as a potential pool of new members. The priority, however, has to be strengthening the attractiveness of the Club to regular and associate members, he emphasizes. 

The committee also has high hopes for the Journalism Learning Labs, which were an initiative spearheaded by Leonard and have already attracted a firm following. “The program is designed to provide FCCJ members with professional development opportunities and also bring in other—often younger—journalists who are not yet members,” she said. “Several of the seminars have focused on technical skills, others have offered career guidance and all of them were good networking opportunities. We want to give people a reason to come to the Club—and then hit them with the membership applications.”

There have been four lab events to date, including AP Bureau Chief Ken Moritsugu explaining his own career and offering advice to up-and-coming journalists, an exploration of the media industry in the digital age and an examination of legal reporting in Japan.

And there has already been some success, said Leonard, with a number of people who attended the seminars applying for membership. “I think they come to the Club and see the new facility and hear about the other events we hold and services we provide, and decide they’d like to be part of it,” she said.

There is also a degree of cross-over with the Club’s Scholarship Committee, of which Leonard is also a member, and she is hopeful that some students will become regular members after they graduate.

And she remains confident that the membership committee’s work will pay off over the long-run. “Of course we would have liked to see many more members joining - especially with the new facility—but we are building slowly and steadily,” she said. ❶


Julian Ryall is Japan correspondent for the Daily Telegraph.

Richard Atrero de Guzman - Visual journalist

05


By Kathryn Wortley

After four years of building his portfolio on his website, Richard Atrero de Guzman got his first video commission in Japan in 2013. It was to cover the International Olympic Committee’s announcement of the city chosen to host the 2020 Games: a great win for the then-38-year-old Filipino who says he arrived in Tokyo with “no language skills, no contacts and no idea how to break into journalism.” 

As his style was mastered from years spent as a video documentarian who expressed life through his lens, however, the piece didn’t suit Ruptly, the Berlin-based international news agency that had commissioned him. Undeterred, he asked the editor for another chance and, after some research, produced a piece that secured him regular work.

The experience instilled in him humility, determination and a love of learning that he applies in his photo and video journalism to this day. No project is impossible, no skill cannot be mastered, and no topic is off limits. 

Ten years ago he was only shooting photo and video, and he “didn’t know how to use a computer.” Now, with YouTube as his teacher, he is editing, producing, directing, flying drones, operating live and even making 360° video. “I’m not scared of doing anything. There is no reason to be stupid right now because the internet is there,” he says. 

The variety of his beat, from local and international news to culture and travel, has made him a generalist rather than a specialist, but he is happy to cover topics unfamiliar to him. “I’m very honest with my editors. If I don’t know something, I just ask. They know I’m not a lawyer or an engineer,” he says, reflecting on his coverage of Carlos Ghosn’s case and the Tokyo Motor Show.

 

WITH THIS APPROACH, HE has picked up freelance assignments with media around the world. In 2014, he became a stringer for Ruptly, producing video mostly on “politics and light news.” This was followed by photo commissions from the New York Times, Time and Great Big Story.

In 2016, he began uploading his photos to Japanese photo agency Alfo and Italian photo agency NurPhoto, from where his photos were shared with sister agencies AFP and Getty. De Guzman attributes this exposure to gaining greater recognition globally and more requests for jobs. In the past two years he has added TV Tokyo, Berlin-based media outlet redfish, global news network RT (formerly Russia Today), AFP, Sipa Press and Al Jazeera to his client list. 

Though most outlets require both photo and video journalism, de Guzman says he “loves” doing photos despite it being “really challenging.” A scholarship from World Press Photo in 2007, followed by a masterclass in photojournalism at Workshop-Asia deepened his appreciation for and understanding of capturing news in a photo. “I can’t explain the happiness I feel when I see my photo in print,” he says, adding that it is extra special when it is doing its job effectively. 

His other passion is documentaries, nurtured during his BA in Fine Arts and Visual Communication from the University of the Philippines and years spent in Tokyo “shooting everything on the streets.” He has recorded everything from protests to festivals but admits that although “it’s fun for me to shoot everything I like, it doesn’t pay.”

 

NOW, HE SAYS, HE uses his experience to ensure that he can be paid for what he shoots. Where a few years ago he would jump on a flight to immediately cover events after they happened—such as when he traveled to Kumamoto immediately after the earthquakes in 2016—he now assesses the best time to go and whether the story warrants a trip. The internet, he says, has helped make that process easier, thanks to the wealth of news to follow and connectivity with fellow journalists and editors. News of the Sri Lanka bombings broke just as he was tying up a shoot in Bangkok, so he posted on his Facebook status that he was going to cover it. By the time his plane landed in Colombo, his inbox was full of requests for footage. 

Still, de Guzman retains a desire to tell people’s stories whether or not he gets paid. Of particular interest is the indigenous people of the Philippines, which is the reason for his nickname Bahagski, bahag meaning “loin cloth” in Tagalog and ski being the affectionate slang used after a person’s name. Sitting in the bar of the FCCJ, which he joined in 2014, he points out a traditional tattoo on his forearm, inked by the last remaining artist in a Filipino tribe following filming for a documentary. Receiving the tattoo would not have been possible without first building a rapport, something he says is vital because he is asking people to let him into their personal lives. As always, his recipe for success is study—in this case, of people and their culture to know “how they might open up and trust you.” 

As he began his career in Japan by shooting the unveiling of Tokyo as 2020 host, de Guzman is excited to cover the Olympics, despite being unfamiliar with sport. But learning adds more strings to your bow as a journalist, he says, and he promises not to hesitate to ask questions. ❶

 

Kathryn Wortley is a freelance journalist for online and print media in the UK and Asia-Pacific.

Sydney shock to press freedom

04

Broadcast news: above, “. . . it’s off into the night for the six AFP officers . . .
I think there’s a big question for the Australian public: is this what a free press looks like?”
Executive Editor of ABC News, John Lyons live-tweeted the raid.

 

The Australian Federal Police conducted two high-profile raids on journalists who exposed government secrets


By Rebecca Ananian-Welsh

On June 4, seven officers spent several hours searching News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst’s Canberra home, her mobile phone and computer. The police linked the raid to “the alleged publishing of information classified as an official secret.” This stemmed from Smethurst’s 2018 article that contained images of a “top secret” memo and reported that senior government officials were considering moves to empower the Australian Signals Directorate to covertly monitor Australian citizens for the first time. 

Soon after, 2GB Radio presenter Ben Fordham revealed he had been notified by the Department of Home Affairs that he was the subject of a similar investigation, aimed at identifying the source of classified information he had reported regarding intercepted boat arrivals.

On June 5, the federal police raided the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Sydney headquarters, a dramatic development that was connected to a 2017 “Afghan files” report based on “hundreds of pages of secret defense force documents leaked to the ABC.” These documents revealed disturbing allegations of misconduct by Australian special forces.

The reaction to the raids was immediate and widespread. The New York Times quoted News Corp’s description of the Smethurst raid as “a dangerous act of intimidation towards those committed to telling uncomfortable truths.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison was quick to distance his government from the federal police’s actions, while opposition leader Anthony Albanese condemned the raids.

To those familiar with the ever-expanding field of Australian national security law, these developments were unlikely to surprise. In particular, enhanced data surveillance powers and a new suite of secrecy offenses introduced in late 2018 have sparked widespread concern over the future of public interest journalism in Australia.

But the crackdown of the past few days reveals that at least two of the core fears expressed by lawyers and the media industry were well-founded: first, the demise of source confidentiality, and second, a chilling effect on public interest journalism.

 

Source confidentiality

Upon finding out he was the subject of an investigation aimed at uncovering his sources of government information, Fordham declared, “The chance of me revealing my sources is zero. Not today, not tomorrow, next week or next month. There is not a hope in hell of that happening.” Source confidentiality is one of journalism’s central ethical principles. It is recognized by the UN and is vital to a functioning democracy and free, independent, robust, and effective media.

One of the greatest threats to source confidentiality is Australia’s uniquely broad data surveillance framework. The 2015 metadata retention scheme requires that all metadata—that is, data about a device or communication but not the communication itself—be retained for two years, and it may be covertly accessed by a wide array of government agencies without a warrant. Some reports suggest that by late 2018, some 350,000 requests for access to metadata were being received by telecommunications service providers each year.

The government was not blind to the potential impact of this scheme on source confidentiality. For example, obtaining metadata relating to a journalist’s mobile phone could reveal where they go and who they contact, easily pointing to their sources. This led to the introduction of the “Journalist Information Warrant,” or JIW. This warrant is required if an agency wishes to access retained metadata for the direct purpose of identifying a professional journalist’s source.

So access to a professional journalist’s metadata in order to identify a confidential source is permitted, provided the access has a particular criminal investigation or enforcement purpose and the agency can show it is in the public interest and therefore obtain a JIW.

The June raids suggest several possibilities: that either JIWs could not be obtained in relation to Smethurst, Fordham, or the ABC journalists; the journalists’ metadata did not reveal their sources; or federal police did not attempt to access their metadata. If metadata had identified the journalists’ sources, it is unclear why this week’s dramatic developments took place.

After 2015, journalists were advised to avoid using their mobile devices in source communications. They were also encouraged, wherever possible, to encrypt communications. But in 2018, the government went some way to closing down this option when it introduced the complex and highly controversial Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2018.

As well as expanding computer access and network access warrants, the Act provided a means for government agencies to co-opt those in the telecommunications industry to assist agencies with their investigations. This could include covertly installing weaknesses and vulnerabilities in specific devices, circumventing passwords, or allowing encrypted communications to be decrypted. A warrant would then be required to access the device and communication data.

It is impossible to know whether Australian journalists have been targeted under the Act or have had weaknesses or spyware installed on their personal devices. The recent raids suggest the Australian Federal Police are prepared to target journalists under this framework in order to identify journalists’ confidential sources. However, this could only be done for certain purposes, including in the investigation of a secrecy offense.

 

Secrecy offenses

In June 2018, the government introduced a suite of new espionage, foreign interference and secrecy offenses. This included an offense of current or former Australian officers communicating information obtained by virtue of their position likely to cause harm to the nation’s interests. This offense is punishable by imprisonment for seven years. If the information is security classified or the person held a security classification, then they may have committed an “aggravated offense” and be subject to ten years’ imprisonment.

The raids also reveal just how common it is for public interest journalism to rely on secret material and government sources. But the journalists themselves may also be facing criminal prosecution. The 2018 changes include a “general secrecy offense,” whereby it is an offense (punishable by imprisonment for five years) to communicate classified information obtained from an Australian public servant. Fordham’s radio broadcast about intercepted boat arrivals was, for example, a clear communication of classified information.

Again, journalists are offered some protection. If prosecuted, a journalist can seek to rely on the “journalism defense” by proving that they dealt with the information as a journalist and that they reasonably believed the communication to be in the public interest. The meaning of “public interest” in this context is unclear and untested, but it would take into account the public interest in national security and government integrity secrecy concerns as well as openness and accountability.

 

Protecting media freedom

Australia has more national security laws than any other nation. It is also the only liberal democracy lacking a Charter of Human Rights or other foundational document that would protect media freedom through, for example, rights to free speech and privacy.
In this context, journalists are in a precarious position—particularly journalists engaged in public interest journalism. Their work is vital to government accountability and a vibrant democracy, but it has a tense relationship with how Australia’s government conceives of national interests.

National security laws have severely undercut source confidentiality by increasing and easing data surveillance. They have also criminalized a wide array of conduct related to the handling of sensitive government information, both by government officers and the general public. And these laws are just a few parts of a much larger national security framework that includes control orders, preventative detention orders, ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organization) questioning and detention warrants, secret evidence, and offenses of espionage, foreign interference, advocating or supporting terrorism, and more.

JIWs and the inclusion of a journalism defense to the secrecy offense recognize the importance of a free press. However, each of these protections relies on a public interest test. When government claims of national security and the integrity of classifications are weighed into this balance, it is difficult to see how other interests might provide an effective counterbalance.

One of the most disturbing outcomes is not the potential prosecutions or even the raids themselves, but the chilling of public interest journalism. Sources are less likely to come forward if they face risk to themselves and a high likelihood of identification by government agencies. And journalists are less likely to run stories if they know the risks posed to their sources and perhaps even to themselves.

Against this background, the calls for a Media Freedom Act by groups such as the Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom have gained significant traction. It may take this kind of bold statement to cut across the complexities of individual laws and both recognize and protect the basic freedom of the press and the future of public interest journalism in Australia. ❶

 

Rebecca Ananian-Welsh is a senior lecturer at the TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

The journalist hostage

03


by Charles Pomeroy

On Christmas Eve of 1991, Andy Adams (Sumo World), Don Kirk (USA Today), and Club President David Powers (BBC), raise their champagne glasses to Terry Anderson, the Chief Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press (AP) who had just been released after almost seven years in captivity as a hostage. The former active FCCJ member, serving both as 2nd and 1st Vice-President, was taken hostage by Muslim extremists in Lebanon on March 16, 1985. He would return to the Club in July of 1992 to recount his experience to our members.

Born in Ohio in 1947, Terry Anderson, who served as a US Marine Corps combat journalist, including two tours in Vietnam, graduated from Iowa State University in 1974 with degrees in journalism and political science prior to joining the AP. His career in that organization took him to various countries, including Japan and Korea. He was an enthusiastic participant in Club affairs. Nine references in the Index of the Club’s history book provide glimpses of his activities, including his harrowing coverage of Korea’s Kwangju rebellion. He became the AP’s Chief Middle East correspondent in 1983. He also became the longest held of almost a dozen Americans hostages seized by Hezbollah extremists in Lebanon at the time. When asked in an interview after his release how he had survived, he replied, “You just do what you have to do. You wake up every day and summon up energy from somewhere, and you get through the day, day after day after day.”

Post-release, Terry has led a busy life, writing a memoir of his hostage experience (Den of Lions), participating in talk shows, and teaching journalism at well-known universities. A lawsuit resulting in a multimillion-dollar settlement from frozen assets of the Iranian government, which had supported Hezbollah, also launched him into philanthropic activities. These included co-founding a non-profit organization to provide education for children in Vietnam as well as creating a foundation in the name of a fellow hostage of the Hezbollah. His one stab at politics, in which he ran as a Democrat in a Republican stronghold, ended in defeat in 2004.

Terry Anderson is now retired in Florida, where he leads a quiet life in the town of Unionville in Orange County.


– Charles Pomeroy
editor of Foreign Correspondents in Japan,
a history of the Club that is available at the front desk

The disappearance of a sorely needed medium

02-1


by Andrew Pothecary

WE ARE LIVING IN an age when the president of the US—commonly, if dubiously, called “the leader of the free world”—says he would like people to admire him as the North Korean people do Kim Jong Un, the Supreme Leader of a dictatorship. When in Britain, the lead candidate to head the governing party and become prime minister has been previously caught conspiring to have a journalist beaten up and has been demoted in government, sacked from a newspaper and even faced a court summons for his lies. When populist leaders from India to Brazil bathe in praise often of their own making.

Then, last month, the New York Times decided to completely stop all political cartoons. Yes, they can go too far, as did one cartoon they published in April that strayed into anti-semitism. It crossed the line of “speaking truth to power” and into an area where the power of previous cartooning had removed truths. While aiming to show Israel’s influence on President Trump, it pictured Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a guide dog leading a blind president—only Trump was wearing a yarmulke, suggesting he had converted to Judaism, not Israeli politics. 

Yes, the idea of Jews as dogs has an appalling history. But that’s what editing is for—to guide, change or cut. The failure of an editorial staff to do its job should not be a reason for a blanket stop on publishing anything, including cartoons.

The art of the political cartoon lies in the ability to summarize an issue, to burst established bubbles and expose underlying intentions and characteristics. As UK cartoonist Martin Towson wrote after the Times’ decision, political cartoons have “the power to shock and offend. That, largely, is what they’re there for, as a kind of dark, sympathetic magic masquerading as a joke.”

We don’t have a cartoonist in Number 1 Shimbun. But there is a reason that the Chinese cartoonist Wang Liming, who had exiled himself to Japan, made our front cover in February 2015: he was concerned for his safety and freedom if he continued making cartoons in China. 

02-2  02-3  02-4

 

At times, however, our covers have used a thought process similar to that of a political cartoonist—such as the November 2015 cover of the Asahi Shimbun folded into a paper boat and bombed; the start of the 2017’s Year of the Rooster referencing the strutting nature of the US president in cartoonish form (with extra double meaning); or a visual comment about the safety of Japan’s new seawalls on the March 2016 cover.

Our Trump cover was not necessarily universally liked. To some extent that is the effect of a political cartoonist. The power of a good piece of art might test the boundaries of lampooning those in power. Or, perhaps, the boundaries of social-media voices, which can gather individually to express a collective outrage. 

The cartoonists of the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo can get too close for comfort on issues of racism or religious freedom—even occasionally cross the line, some might justifiably argue. But their aim is to nonviolently burst the bubbles of power and the powerful with their art, not to be part of a world where five of their staff can be slaughtered in their offices for their views.

At a time when many hundreds of thousands of people are marching in Hong Kong, some hoisting placards of the city’s Chief Executive pictured as a devil, and many protesters in the UK are competing to make the most pertinent and pithy placard about politicians and Brexit, it seems exactly the wrong time to be stopping political cartoons. If anything, they—as any medium seeking to challenge opaque and misused power—are needed more than ever. 

– Andrew Pothecary

Andrew Pothecary is the art director of Number 1 Shimbun.

New in the Library

 

11-8
Tokyo Ueno Station

Yu Miri; Morgan Giles (trans.)
Tilted Axis Press

Out of the Gobi: My Story of China and America
Weijian Shan
John Wiley & Sons
Gift from Naoya Nakata

Jimaku no Hanazono
Natsuko Toda
Shueisha
Gift from Natsuko Toda

Keep on Dreaming: Toda Natsuko
Natsuko Toda; Yuko Kaneko
Futabasha
Gift from Natsuko Toda

Notes on a Life: Coppola Family no Sugao
Eleanor Coppola; Natsuko Toda (trans.)
Futabasha
Gift from Natsuko Toda

Japan Rearmed: the Politics of Military Power
Sheila A. Smith
Harvard University Press

11-9
The Rise and Fall of Modern Japanese Literature

John Whittier Treat
The University of Chicago Press

 

New Members

 

REGULAR MEMBER


11-7
YE SHAN is an English-language correspondent with China’s Xinhua News Agency, where she is currently in charge of reporting on Japan’s political and economic stories for the agency’s Tokyo bureau. Prior to this posting, she was an editor at the English desk of the International News Department in Beijing since 2015. She majored in English and International Communications and has also studied Japanese.

 

PROFESSIONAL/JOURNALIST ASSOCIATE MEMBER

Nobuyuki Kataoka, Kinyobi, Co., Ltd.

 

REINSTATEMENT (PROFESSIONAL/JOURNALIST ASSOCIATE)

Akiko Kashiwagi, The Washington Post


ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

Alfred Moufarrige, Servcorp Ltd.
Dan Underwood, Ashton Consulting Limited
Hironobu Endo, Dentsu Ad-Gear Inc.
Akihiko Fukazawa, Homat Homes, Ltd.
Akiko Kanno, ELGC K.K.
Makoto Takahashi, ELGC K.K.
Satoshi Nakano, Japan-China Cultural Exchange Association
Kazutaka Okubo, Ernst & Young Shinnihon LLC
Izumi Okoshi, Dentsu Inc.
Masanao Tomozoe, Central Japan International Airport Co., Ltd.

 

Gozabune: Sunset Cruise

 

The evening of May 5 saw FCCJ members board a luxurious replica of the shogun’s pleasure ship, the Gozabune Atekemaru, for
a dinner cruise around Tokyo Bay.

The original was built by the third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu, in the early 17th century, and its opulent design and regal decor was compared at the time to the Toshogu Shrine in Nikko. Thanks to the Special Projects Committee for arranging the very unique event. Cruises are regularly scheduled, and the ship is also available for charter.

 

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Join the Film Committee. . .

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…on Wed., June 19 at 6:45 pm for 5 Million Dollar Life, which poses the question “Just how much is life really worth?” For Mirai Takatsuki (played with gusto by Ayumu Mochizuki), it took $5 million in donations to cover his medical bills and keep him alive. Eleven years later, his miraculous recovery is still TV news, and his mother continues to promise that Mirai will pay everyone back by living up to their expectations. But the 17-year-old has had enough of the pressure. In despair, he decides to commit suicide – until a stranger texts him that he has no right to take his own life until he returns the $5 million. So Mirai sets out to do just that. What begins as a familiar-seeming journey with echoes of the teen suicide/coming-of-age/road movie genres, then expands into something completely unexpected, constantly surprising and ultimately, transformative. First-time feature director Sungho Moon will join us for the Q&A session after the screening with Mochizuki.

(Japan, 2019; 112 minutes; in Japanese with English subtitles.)

– Karen Severns

11-3

KnK Photo Exhibition

Class Rooms: Places to spend time as a child. 

By Kyo Shimizu

KnK (Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi: Children without Borders) is an NGO that supports children and schools in a number of locations around the world. These photographs by Kyo Shimizu are of children, classrooms and school commutes at KnK missions in Palestine, Timor Leste, the Philippines, Syrian refugee camps, Tohoku and beyond. ❶

Kyo Shimizu, born in Tokyo in 1970, has been helping children for 20 years and expanded his work to become an award-winning photographer of humanitarian issues in 2016. He has worked for KnK Japan since 2003.


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Concentrating without noticing my camera, Kohistan, Pakistan, 2010

11-2

A girl lights a candle to continue studying after a power outage, in a KnK Home, India, 2005

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