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Number 1 Shimbun


NUMBER 1 SHIMBUN 2020 (123)

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August 2020 (9)
August 2020

No1-2019-08 Cover

Click here for the full PDF (4.5MB)

August 2020

Our August issue commemorates Japan’s acceptance
of the Potsdam Agreement in the “Jewel Voice Broadcast”
(Gyokuon-hōsō) at noon on August 15 1945.
The Imperial line and Japan itself were renovated,
then reset for the Cold War in Asia. 


From the President - August 2020




James Abegglen, Guru of Japanese Management



War Ends: The 75th Anniversary Issue

Singapore's Japanese Interlude

Kohima: Turning the Tides of War

The Yurakucho Tapes

Occupational Hazards: The Canon Agency in Post-War Japan

Aftermath - Veteran Members Look Back on Post-War Days




New Members

New in the Library

Photography; Stanley Troutman


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September 2020 (14)
September 2020

No1-2020-09 Cover

Click here for the full PDF (6.4MB)

September 2020

This issue is all about women in our Club,
and in the media and other workplaces in Japan.

So, a serious issue, but one that we have
all done our best to make readable. 



From the President - September 2020



Miles to Go and Promises Unkept

Mood Swings

The Parent Trap

Making Great Waves Off Marunouchi

In the Footsteps of Legends

An Early Adopter in Women’s Media

Profile: Keiko Packard

No Turning Back

Japan’s Far More Female Future



New Members

New in the Library


Regular by eggs

Photography; Osamu Nagahama


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October 2020 (12)
October 2020

No1-2020-10 Cover

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October 2020

On our 75th Anniversary, the past looks simple,
the future more complicated. But the FCCJ will continue.

Thus every kind their pleasure find
The savage and the tender
Some social join and leagues combine
Some solitary wander

~ Robert Burns, Song composed in August, 1783




From the President - October 2020


2020 Election statement

Congratulations from
the Dean of the Kansai Consular Corps


FEATURES ›› 75th Anniversary of the FCCJ

Seventy-five years in a nutshell

Halcyon days

Fun in Marunouchi


Lights! Action! Cable!

Where the news is made

Building an Osaka FCCJ?



New Members

New in the Library


Regular by eggs

Obituary: Richard Halloran, 1930-2020


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Building an Osaka FCCJ?


Prescience or prediction? Number1 Shimbun, March 1970


Building an Osaka FCCJ?



In February 2019, I was covering the Kansai Economic Forum for the Japan Times. The annual event draws about 500 of the region’s largest and most powerful corporate executives to discuss national and regional economic, and sometimes political, strategies.

At one session, discussion was on the 2025 World Expo, which Osaka had secured the previous November. The mood was jubilant. But there was also a groundswell of recognition for the hard work of international local diplomacy and public relations involved in kick-starting the Expo. What to do? One prominent attendee, Takuya Nomura, a Cabinet advisor on innovation, suggested that we consider forming an Osaka branch of the FCCJ, or “some sort of Osaka International Media Association”.

As some FCCJ members may recall, there had been an informal Osaka-based journalists’ forum in the late 1990s, based on a group that included The Guardian’s Justin McCurry and myself. But there is nothing remotely similar to the FCCJ in Kansai today. As I wrote in the June 2017 issue of No. 1 Shimbun, Kyoto, not Osaka, is now the Kansai base for a tiny number of Western journalists, including Regular Member John Ashburne. But there are any number of Associate Members who call Osaka and other parts of Kansai home.

Early days

While the Expo is still nearly five years away, local discussions on foreign media coverage are already under way. In May, at Nomura-san’s request, I spoke to a small group of Osaka and foreign business leaders and diplomatic officials about the realities of covering Kansai as a foreign journalist.

Obviously, there can never be a Tokyo equivalent of the FCCJ in Kansai. The demand is not there and never will be. However, some form of new association affiliated with the FCCJ that serves as a local base for Tokyo-based members and attracts more Kansai members to FCCJ events, even via Zoom conferencing, is, I believe, possible.

Reaching and planning

How to do it, though? The first step is to reach out to people in the Kansai region, using the need to publicize the 2025 Expo internationally as a chance to begin discussions between FCCJ and interested parties in Kansai about what kind of events might attract interest over the coming year. Here’s one idea of how to get those discussions going by early 2021.

First, two events, preferably in person but over Zoom if need be, should be arranged specifically for interested persons in Osaka and Kyoto in order to introduce and explain the FCCJ. The theme would be something like ‘75 Years of International Reporting on Japan’. This could be a panel discussion with senior FCCJ journalist members, ideally the President and current BoD members. FCCJ members in Kansai could then help publicize the panel or similar events.

Second, separate meetings – and these should be in-person, not over Zoom – are needed with senior Osaka and Kyoto government and business officials. Especially those involved with the Expo. Ideally, an FCCJ delegation, led by the President, would visit Kansai. Meetings could take place prior to the event.

The delegation can listen and offer advice on what the region might do to increase foreign media interest in the run-up to the Expo. Local sponsorship to cover transportation/lodging costs of Tokyo FCCJ members to Kansai could be arranged.

While the Corona virus makes it difficult to plan in advance, something like the above could be planned for the winter or spring of 2021. Once that is held, the FCCJ would be in a better position to determine the kind of activities, including membership promotion, that would be best suited to Kansai journalists.



Forging the links: FCCJ President Lucy Birmingham talking to Kansai journalists in January 2014


Q&A in Kyoto following FCCJ President Lucy Birmingham and FCCJ Kansai member Eric Johnston presentation, January 2014

Tried and tested

There are precedents for FCCJ representatives speaking in Kansai. Former FCCJ President Dan Sloan addressed Kansai business leaders and local journalists in Osaka. It was, I’ve been told, one of the best-attended events they’ve ever held. Former President Lucy Birmingham talked about the FCCJ to audiences in Osaka and an even larger gathering in Kyoto. In this age of remote working and live telecasting, there are going to be even more reasons to look upon Osaka as an active, interesting and regular base for media activity. Let’s follow them up and make more of them.

With over a quarter century of newspaper journalism experience, all of it in Kansai area, Eric Johnston has worked extensively with Japan-based and overseas foreign journalists visiting the region. He has a special interest in how past foreign journalists and writers shaped modern images of Japan in general and Kyoto in particular. The views in this article are his personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of The Japan Times.

Where the news is made


Rooftop view from our late-lamented premises, the Yurakucho Denki Building


Where the news is made



Happy 75th! I’ve been a proud Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan member for a third of our historic era, in roles ranging from left field on our softball team to leadership of our Board. This month I have come to praise Caesar, not to bury him, to look back at our storied past and try to put our future into some perspective. I’ll start with some early memories, as well as heroes of the past and present who have graced our organization during my year.

I was living in Los Angeles in the 1980s when an LA Times advertisement before a film featured Tokyo Correspondent Sam Jameson, walking the streets of ancient Edo and daily making the inscrutable economic juggernaut more understandable for Californians. After moving back to Japan in 1988, I met Sam in the Yurakucho Denki Building bar a few years later at the invitation of Pat Killen, and the world – or Tokyo media fish bowl – had suddenly become smaller and more navigable, as I was nearing a seat at the hallowed Correspondent’s tables.

Pat and I were acquainted through the Press Club Alleycats, the softball team that included FCCJ members such as Glenn Davis, George Faas, Yoshi Fujii and Roger Schreffler, as well as Club staff such as Chef Fumio Okuda and his son, Hiroshi Hosono, Jimmy Horikawa and Jimmy Semoto. We actually won a few titles over the years, but needed to import players – both Japanese and expats, as journalists were always better at assessing, rather than possessing, talent.



FCCJ Alleycats (Fall 1993): Jim Semoto, Bruce Rutledge,
Glenn Davis and masked Pat Killen (2nd/3rd/4th/9th from top left);
Yoshi Fujii, Dan Sloan and Chef Fumio Okuda (4th/5th/8th from bottom left)

Turning Regular

After joining a trade journal in Tokyo late in the Bubble period, my Japanese boss agreed to pay for FCCJ membership should this esteemed institution be mistaken enough to let me in as a Regular. The Club wisely eschewed the opportunity and offered Professional Associate status instead. Perhaps like Groucho being rejected by a club, I decided to wait on the FCCJ for another four years until joining Reuters, who supported my membership, alongside our staff. Tom Thomson, Linda Sieg, Irene Kunii, Chikafumi Hodo, Janet Snyder, Teruaki Ueno, Eiichiro Tokumoto, George Nishiyama, and Eugene Moosa were among correspondents frequently at PAC luncheons, in the library or at watering holes at the end of a long day. The policy for most news agencies then included FCCJ sponsorship, although that largesse has been scaled back almost entirely in 25 years, as beats changed, budgets shrank, and Internet mobility grew.

The Club environment was collegial, social, and aspirational – you met people whom you had read, watched, and admired. I had earlier worked at Knight-Ridder in Tokyo after graduate school, and Lew Simons was the chain’s Asian newspaper correspondent here, as Japan was still seen as a more functional and newsworthy locale than its neighbors despite the costs. Lew was the nicest Pulitzer Prize winner you could ever meet, and like a number of FCCJ members, such as Bruce Dunning, had begun as a Vietnam War correspondent. On a given night, you could hear war stories, which for Pat and Ed Neilan dated back to Korea, or for John Roderick to the Long March of the mid-1930s. Until recently, you could read historian emeritus Charles Pomeroy recount FCCJ moments in his monthly articles, although his war stories occasionally detailed skirmishes more in the bar than on the battlefield.

Plugging on

Perhaps the wisest thing I did during my own first tour of duty in the FCCJ was to stay out of Club politics and focus on the Club’s merits, which included the 50th anniversary party attended by members of the Imperial family. The Showa Era had ended and Heisei had turned into an economic black eye for Japan, and eventually for its media industry. The age of the foreign correspondent was winding down, and all but a few newspapers or broadcasters closed Tokyo bureaus or gave those still here responsibilities to cover all of Asia without any increase in resources. Even with a declining professional base, challenged demographics, and a murky fiscal horizon, the Club kept plugging on with a dedicated staff and by properly assessing the needs and budgets of its members, and leveraging its optimal location. I must confess that besides Club amenities, I treasured our proximity to Andy’s izakaya across the street, the American Pharmacy in the days before the Peninsula Hotel, and Bic Camera for games and tech. The vending machines under the JR lines also were a plebian treat before or after a train.


I can’t remember my first PAC lunch, but it was obvious that the Club embodied its catchphrase “Where the News is Made”. Near our current library is a mid-1990s photograph of Aum Shinrikyo spokesman Fumihiro Joyu with Richard Lloyd Parry, and this event was among many in the next two decades to fill editorial copy and newsreels. Having attended or MC’d numerous luncheons with government officials, captains of industry, religious leaders, sports and arts stars, as well as those driving news in 20th and 21st Century Japan, it became clear that this was our most valuable professional service, and unlike other organizations without access barriers to any working press. I recall from the head table director Hayao Miyazaki sketching while he answered questions, a young LDP Secretary-General named Shinzo Abe separately trying to be as animated as Totoro to a skeptical Japan, and Philippine President Gloria Arroyo defying National Press Club opprobrium and speak at the FCCJ about changes in her country. This platform for history was, and is, the diamond of our organization, and with a greater post-COVID resumption of services, it will shine even brighter, based on the hard work of our PAC team now led by Akiko Saikawa.



Nintendo’s former CEO Satoru Iwata
and Design Chief Shigeru Iwamoto with the author, April 2009

On Board

Eventually, I went from professional interest in PAC to running for the FCCJ Board after two years in Singapore that revealed all I had taken for granted about our organization – its incredible member diversity and talents, as well as its vanguard role for press freedom and opportunity. I first joined the BoD in 2003, and followed Myron Belkind as president. With the help of GM Seishi Yoda and great colleagues that included Steve Herman, James Simms, Khaldon Azhari, Yoshisuke Iinuma, Jim Brooke, Tim Kelly, Dennis Normile, Kaz Abiko, and many others, I rapidly learned some of the complex Club issues that vexed us, such as the declining state of our premises and inherent financial liabilities, the vicissitudes of selecting F&B menus and vendors, the sacrosanct fiefdoms and blood feuds behind them, the rigors and rigor mortis of our Articles and Bylaws, and (there was even some good stuff) our young journalist and scholarship programs, the amazing movie series in which Donald Richie selected films to commemorate our 60th anniversary year and Karen Severns now keeps the flame lit, the charitable efforts in times of crises, the diverse entertainment from bunraku to bee-bop, and our constant attempt to do the most with not much. If I wasn’t converted before, I became a believer, and it is this organization now more than ever that needs patronage and support in the tough hours of the pandemic.

When I spoke at our 60th anniversary party in a red sweater to signify the moment, I took a line from former New York Mayor David Dinkins, calling the Club a “beautiful mosaic” in which every single tile contributes to the whole. I serve now on our current BoD that faces challenges as significant as the Club has ever known, but I have no doubt that someone will write a similar column for our 100th anniversary. I stopped playing softball years ago, so that may not be a good sign for me as author (my money is on Charles), but I definitely want to read our next chapter - how we persevered, how like Sam and countless others over the decades we made inscrutable Japan more understandable, and how we continued to thrive as a place where the news was made.

Dan Sloan joined the FCCJ in 1994 and is a Life Member. He served as President in 2004 and 2005-6 and serves on the 2020 Board. He reported for Knight-Ridder and Reuters for nearly two decades, and is a regular contributor to EuroBiz Japan. He has worked in corporate communications for Nissan Motor Corporation since 2011.

Lights! Action! Cable!

Lights! Action! Cable!

The FCCJ goes to the movies



While the FCCJ has long been celebrated as a location for any number of impromptu Oscar-worthy performances, over the past 75 years, numerous genuine Hollywood producers and directors have used the Club or the experiences of foreign journalists in Japan to tell their own stories on celluloid. Here are some recommended long (best?) forgotten classics where you can catch a glimpse of “FCCJ” in its earlier days and/or the adventures of intrepid foreign journalists in Japan.



Blood on the Sun (1945)

Any film with James Cagney working at a Japan-based English language newspaper is worthy of a five-star review. In Blood on the Sun, Cagney stars as the hard-bitten editor of the “Tokyo Chronicle”. Set just before World War II, Cagney’s character, Nick Condon, uncovers a plot by a Japanese aristocrat to expand Japan’s military empire. Unfortunately for Condon, the Chronicle’s owner, an apologist for the Japanese government, tries to get him to retract the story. Another Chronicle reporter then gets hold of the plan, but decides to use it to blackmail the Japanese government. That doesn’t go at all well, for Condon ends up dead. You’ll have to see the ending for yourself. One unexpected highlight is hearing James Cagney speak Japanese.





There are also a few scenes, however, of Cagney and other Tokyo-based foreign journalists at their favorite drinking establishment. As Blood on the Sun is set in the late 1930s, on a set more reminiscent of Rick’s Café than Marunouchi, it was not filmed at the real FCCJ. Obviously, additional scenes of journalists (all white men) sitting at the bar, wearing suits and fedoras, smoking pipes, getting sloshed, complaining to each other about who owes who money, and declaring they intend to write books on Japan are clearly nothing more than a figment of the screenwriter’s imagination, someone who never knew foreign journalists in Japan.



Tokyo File 212 (1951)

Tokyo. 1951. The last outpost of democracy in the Far East. The Korean War is raging. The postwar Occupation is winding down but the Red Menace in Japan is threatening to take the country into the Communist Block. Enter Jim Carter (Robert Peyton), a poor man’s Humphrey Bogart who works as a spy for an unnamed U.S. intelligence agency. Carter arrives in Tokyo, his job to track down his old college roommate, a Japanese from a prominent family who has fallen in with the Japan Communist Party and its fellow travelers. While on assignment, he will see the underbelly of Tokyo as well as experience high culture and strange food, work beside a mysterious White Russian refugee (whose sibling was kidnapped to North Korea), and ultimately save Japan from a communist takeover.

While Tokyo File 212 belongs in the ‘so-bad-its-good’ category, it holds a certain appeal for FCCJ members, for Carter is working undercover as a journalist. He hops into a charcoal-powered taxi, and gets taken to the Tokyo Foreign Correspondents’ Club, showing the original exterior. That’s where he is lodging, and as soon as he opens the door to his room, he discovers the beautiful White Russian lady Steffi (played by Florence Marley, whose comical Russian accent is as bad as her acting) asleep in his bed (a common occurrence at FCCJ back then). She turns into his assistant and the adventures begin. Another FCCJ resident journalist is a tall British man who spends his time drinking gin and being fanned by a Japanese woman in a kimono.

Pretty much every traditional stereotype of Japan is on display and the film, which was shot with Occupation approval, feels like what it is: a period American propaganda piece. Whether the interior shots of “FCCJ” are those of the actual Club of the time, only those who were members then, or remember visiting it as young children, can say.



The Manster (1960)

After three years in Tokyo, an American foreign correspondent turns into a raving beast, develops a second head, and goes on a murderous rampage through the streets of Tokyo.

OK, the plot of The Manster, a 1960 cult classic, is a bit more complicated than that. The American reporter, Larry Stanford (Peter Dyneley), has tracked down a mad scientist named Dr. Suzuki (played by the brilliant Nakamura Tetsu, who would star in a number of Japan-themed Hollywood films) is his mountain lair. Inquiring minds want to know, Stanford says, what is going on with all of these test tubes. Is Suzuki doing experiments on human beings, trying to alter their DNA?

No, no, not all, Suzuki replies — before injecting Stanford with a mysterious serum after knocking him out with a sleeping pill slipped into his whisky glass. When Stanford comes to, he’s woozy but says, “no story here.” He also tells Suzuki that, as he’s due to return the U.S. in a few days, he wants to have some fun.




Stanford and Suzuki head out for a night on the town, ending up with geisha, etc. etc. But Stanford is changing, becoming more irritable. Just another cynical hack or is something else going on? It turns out to be the latter. Stanford quarrels with his editor, get drunk, misses the plane to New York, and causes all sorts of problems. Finally, in a classic scene, Suzuki’s truth serum produces its ultimate effect: a second head pops out of Stanford’s shoulder and his transformation from a rough, cynical Tokyo-based foreign correspondent to a hairy, two-headed hairy beast who goes on a killing spree is complete.

While there is nothing in The Manster directly connected to FCCJ, there are a couple of scenes featuring Stanford in what appears to be a newspaper office somewhere in central Tokyo, with a couple of foreign faces and lots of Japanese staff serving as extras. Some unconfirmed reports say that this was The Japan Times’ office of the period. Others have said it was more likely the Associated Press or UPI offices. FCCJ members who were in Tokyo in 1960 are encouraged to view the film to see if they can determine which newspaper or wire service office, if any, served as the location for those scenes.



Part 1

A Girl Named Tamiko (1962)

This was noted British actor Laurence Harvey’s “other film” that came out about the time of the internationally acclaimed The Manchurian Candidate, in which Harvey had a role as a character who had been brainwashed.

In “Tamiko” Harvey plays Russian-Chinese photographer Ivan Kalin, who is living in Tokyo but trying desperately to get permission from the U.S. embassy to emigrate to America. Kalin has a very complicated love life, including a kindhearted Japanese girlfriend named Eiko who he dumps for an American woman who works at the U.S. embassy. Kalin hopes that by romancing her, he can get his visa application approved.

Katlin is approached by an American travel magazine editor who has just arrived in Tokyo. The editor invites him for a drink at FCCJ, and we’re treated to numerous scenes of a crowded bar, black and white photos on the walls, and male reporters elbow to elbow drinking scotch or martinis or sitting, with a few women, at the tables, everybody nattily dressed and holding cigarettes. One wonders if the producers of ‘Mad Men’ referenced these scenes to create the set designs and atmosphere of their show.

But it’s not all male bonding at the bar. Katlin meets the FCCJ librarian, a woman with an aristocratic background named Tamiko. He visits her in her office, surrounded by paper files. We see the other journalists relaxing, smoking, and reading.

And then? Katlin the cad, the scoundrel, the two-timing foreign photographer, actually falls in love with the demure Tamiko. Who says the FCCJ isn’t a romantic place? The two make a trip to Nara and Lake Biwa. Check out the ending for yourself, but it’s not as entertaining and, no doubt, nostalgic as the scenes filmed at “FCCJ”. Again, members who remember the real FCCJ bar and library of 1962 are better placed to say how authentic these scenes really are. Or whether those filmed at the bar and in a few other scenes were old friends and associates who decided to have a bit of fun and serve as extras.



Part 2


There are no doubt other films out there where FCCJ figures, either in reality or as part of the plotline (excluding documentaries, of which there are no doubt plenty with scenes of FCCJ). If so, let us know. The above films are all available for free on YouTube. So make up that batch of buttered popcorn, sit back, and see the FCCJ and foreign journalists in Japan the way Holly- wood and the world, once saw us and probably still does.

Eric Johnston first joined the FCCJ in 2000, and is currently Senior Kansai Correspondent for The Japan Times. He enjoys discovering old films about Japan, especially those that feature the Kansai region.

Fun in Marunouchi


11th Anniversary Party 1956


Fun in Marunouchi



Some things don’t leave you, however far back you go. I was barely eleven years old, but I still can’t forget the stark, twisted girders of Kawasaki seen from the train between Tokyo and Yokohama. The stalls along the Ginza too, with barely clad families selling their heirlooms for the price of a supper. Many a collector of Japanese art got their start at these stalls.

Even today, I hold in my mind’s eye our second location, the Chiyoda Annexe Building in Marunouchi, the first of our premises to be called The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, the building and the concrete pillars in the lobby still smudged and sooty from the B29 firebombing of Marunouchi. I was eleven. According to my father, who worked for SCAP, the initial plan had been to ring-fence the entire area for GCHQ, but MacArthur, a more than occasional visitor to the Club, had all the space he needed at the Daiichi Seimei Building, and after some initial opposition, the hacks bedded down near their workplaces. Dozens of correspondents were living and working in offices around Marunouchi and the Club was teeming with people waiting and drinking. Men and women in uniform and fatigues, few with more than a smattering of Japanese, sat around on mismatched sofas and leather armchairs rescued from the fires of war, and drank and waited, and drank some more.



New Years Eve Party, Albert (Al) Kaff 1964


French Night 1957


Italian Night - Takako Shimazu 1963


The front desk of the Chiyoda Annex Building on Marunouchi was overseen by the wonderful Mary Ushijima, a friend to all, especially this 11 year old kid. Mary always had the last word on just about everything there was to know. I have fond memories of the nights the Zenier Brothers, famed Pacific war correspondents, set up a camera on the roof for me and my schoolfriends to watch movies while our parents partied downstairs.

The Club’s Marunouchi location saw us in our heyday. Every bigwig who came to Tokyo appeared at the FCCJ and that included local celebrities. Politicians, diplomats, artists, celebrated movie stars – Gina Lollobrigida made a grand entrance on our staircase – and world-famous musicians. The food was terrific. T-bone steaks, quality international fare and even an excellent lasagna recipe from our Italian President Ugo Puntieri.

We were hosting the Foreign Minister Toshio Kimura in 1974 when a car rearended a truck of gas canisters nearby, setting off a blast that took out some of our windows. Demonstrating the sang-froid essential to all institutions worthy of the Fourth Estate, consideration resumed on the relative merits of vichysoisse or gazpacho, as we had reached the soup stage, but nobody remarked on the state of the windowpanes (Pomeroy ed. 1998: 207).

Our anniversary parties featured brilliant skits from our considerable reserve of gifted members. There were many firsts. A celebrated tattoo artist redesigned some of our members right before our eyes. I was so excited I made an appointment to surprise my husband with a little heart somewhere, but when I told him my plans, he warned that he would divorce me if I did any such thing – the perfect shitamachi response.

We had fashion shows too. I interviewed Hanae Mori on her Vivid clothing line at her shop in Shinjuku when I was still a teenager on the Japan Times. This was the woman who put Japanese fashion on the map.



Our fourth club house on the 20th floor of the Yurakucho Denki Building

The move

The move to Yurakucho was sad for many but not for long. The guys made a memorable parade to the 20th floor of the Denki Bldg. and we resumed our famous PAC luncheons featuring the popular Ambassador’s Table, where they really let their hair down. For many of them, Tokyo was often the penultimate assignment before Washington D.C., so rumors were in the air and news was there in the making. All you had to do was listen.

I served on the Board in Yurakucho but spent most of my time on the F&B, Entertainment and even Bradley Martin’s House and Property Committee. Being on both F&B and Entertainment helped me build up the Sunday Brunch, and we had some super international events with native cuisine, music and dance (our Cuba Nights were outstanding). The F&B’s Bob Kirschenbaum and Ernie Solomon introduced Wine Dinner Nights, always a big hit. We ran our own kitchen and we could stage any event any time we wanted.

Waking up the weekend

The Club was too quiet on weekends, but Glen Davis had the brilliant idea of Saturday Night (now ‘Nite’) Live to busy up the bar and get in some regular entertainment for the membership. Children’s birthday parties were also introduced at Yurakucho, making full use of all facilities on quiet weekend afternoons. My son Dan got into the first.

Now we are at Nijubashi and we have to play the hand we’ve been dealt. Right now Covid has limited our functions but we’ll get going again. Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live is going strong: free, no cover charge, no table charge, and some of the best entertainment in town. Check your messages or see what’s on the website and join us.

Sandra Martine Mori first came to Tokyo from California at the age of 11. She joined the FCCJ in September 1969, writing for Anone and the Japan Times in her teenage years and progressing to a column on the Mainichi Daily News. She served on the Board of Directors at the Yurakucho Denki Building and is a long-serving Chair of the Entertainment Committee.

Halcyon days


Capacity attendance: a full crowd kicks off the 1970s at the 25th Anniversary party


Halcyon days



In the fall of 1971, when I first joined as Far East correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, the FCCJ was a very exciting place to be. Veteran journalists hung out there every day, the work room was humming, the library a most helpful institution and the dining room and bar, humming with news, gossip, food and drink, presided over by that stunning photo of a nude Marilyn Monroe.

If the FCCJ has lost a little of its historical lustre, it’s for two interrelated reasons. One is that foreign news organizations, notably American, have cut right back on foreign news. Most news bureaus in Tokyo have slashed staff or pulled out completely. At the same time, the internet makes it possible for journalists to work out of their homes or offices without any need to turn to the FCCJ as a hub of information. When they can google just about any historical detail, few journalists need turn to the once-indispensable FCCJ library.



Donald Kirk, 1971

Good company and ‘the real Japan’

Looking back nearly half a century to 1971, the way I remember the old-timers of my day is not so much for evenings in the bar as for the quality of their conversation and their company. Dick Halloran, whom I had known in a fellowship program at Columbia, briefed me from a professional foundation built on many years with McGraw-Hill and 

Business Week, the Washington Post and then the New York Times. Sam Jameson, who recommended me for the Tribune when he moved to the Los Angeles Times, was happy to tell me just about everything he had learned from his years in Japan beginning with the Stars and Stripes. John Roderick of the AP was a congenial raconteur, evoking memories of his days as a correspondent who had met Mao while covering the Communist revolution in China and filing from so many other datelines.

We may never have resolved such perennial questions as where or what was ‘the real Japan’, why the Japanese behave as they do, whether or why or how the Japanese might be instinctively or intuitively anti-foreign, if indeed they were all that anti-foreign, or what it was that separated Japanese from we gaijin, the ‘outside people’. If nobody figured out Japan during my heyday at the Club, it wasn’t for lack of trying. The FCCJ was central to this monumental quest. On any given day or night, you would find people only too willing to discuss such questions while picking up hard news at talks and pressers, at the bar, over lunch and any meal, and in thorough, questioning seminars.

Getting stale

The FCCJ was so critical to getting the news in Tokyo that at times I felt I must be spending too much time there. Maybe too many of us confined our reporting to one or two square miles of downtown Tokyo, from the FCCJ to the foreign ministry to a few other government offices and news and corporate headquarters. It was all part of the never-ending challenge to absorb ‘the real Japan’, whatever that was. After a while, despite frequent excursions outside my main beat, I began to get the feeling I was writing much the same story, or the same type of story, over and over.

So for variety or relief, one could take off for Seoul. A few months after I got to Tokyo correspondents descended for negotiations in Seoul sponsored by the North and South Red Cross. Keyes Beech of the Chicago Daily News, another late-lamented paper, was there, as was Don Oberdorfer, just arrived in Tokyo for the Washington Post. Oberdorfer and I flew often to Saigon where Beech was spending more and more of his time.


Life at the FCCJ had plenty of fun moments outside the Club. For a couple of years I ran the FCCJ softball team. Two FCCJ staffers, Hosono and Mori, were among our stalwarts, alongside Andy Adams, Jim Abrams, Mel Tsugi, Mark Schreiber, Shiro Yoneyama and Glenn Davis. Ron Yates took over the team and my job for the Chicago Tribune in 1974 when I joined the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on a Murrow fellowship.

The main problems running the softball team were making sure people turned up and giving everyone a chance to play. If you got a dozen people out there, you had to get everyone into the game even though you would rather some stayed on the bench. (As a certified non-athlete, I never played if there were enough men on the field). We had a couple of unforgettable ringers. One of our best was John Wells, a teacher, lately laid up with cancer. Then there was the power-hitting Barry Forman, later jailed on drug charges. Team solidarity required that I visit him in Fuchu.




Freelance heaven

The FCCJ was absolutely essential for freelancers, who relied on the workroom and counted on front desk staff for support. Returning to Japan as a freelancer, I found myself sending stories by messenger from the FCCJ to Reuters and UPI, both of which transmitted my files to papers in the U.S. and London. Before joining USA Today in 1982 I was filing for up to eight different papers, all in different regions. This intense freelancing, impossible without the FCCJ, was way more profitable than working as a staffer for any newspaper. Today I wouldn’t get away with it. Newspapers no longer invest in foreign news, and the so-called miracle of the internet means you can’t send exclusives to editors who only have to click their keyboards to see what you’re writing for their rivals.


Bill Lamp in the workroom


Barry Riddell strikes a blow for press freedom, Number1 Shimbun, April 1974

The one and only

Inside the FCCJ there were plenty of characters around. One of the more memorable was Barry Riddell, a South African who had once been with Reuters in London. He got accredited to some good news organizations, including the Chicago Daily News and the Evening Standard of London, and eked out an existence as an editor for a business magazine.

I ran into him again in Manila in the mid-70s. Barry was a font of information and insights, on a first-name basis with Philippine politicos and journalists, providing detailed memos to NHK, whose correspondents saw him as a pipeline into the local scene. Barry had already won a niche in FCCJ history as the Club’s first and only streaker, having run across the dining room naked at a Club occasion, but we had much more to talk about when we met for the last time nine or ten years ago.

The next time I heard about Barry came after his death on December 10, 2013, when his landlord found his body in his single room in Manila. More than a month later, no one had claimed the body.

Barry’s name lives on in the memory of those who were around in those days as do so many others who traipsed in and out of the FCCJ, hanging around for a few months or years or even decades. The 1970s and 80s were halcyon days for foreign journalism in Japan. All kinds of stories, in Japan and the region, showed up on our radar screens. The internet was an unimaginable phenomenon, a mere menace on the horizon. The club brought a vital dimension to our lives and work. Those really were the days, my friends.

Donald Kirk joined the FCCJ in 1971 soon after arriving as correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. He has returned to Tokyo many times over the years, filing for numerous papers including The Observer and the old International Herald Tribune.

Seventy-five years in a nutshell

 04 1
No.1 Shimbun Alley, the FCCJ’s first club house, Autumn 1945


Seventy-five years in a nutshell



In September 1945, soon after the Occupation of Japan began under General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander Allied Powers (SCAP), a group of disgruntled war correspondents united in a relatively mundane common cause: opposition to SCAP restrictions on the number of journalists allowed into the area due, pronounced SCAP, to insufficient billets. In the chaotic weeks following the Japanese surrender, this group formed The Tokyo Correspondents Club, forerunner of the FCCJ, in October 1945.

Faced with a lack of living quarters, the first objective of the new press club, headed by Howard Handleman (INS) with Don Starr (Chicago Tribune) and William Dunn (CBS) as first and second vice-presidents, was to find a place for Tokyo correspondents to stay. And find it they did, between SCAP headquarters in the Daiichi Seimei building and Tokyo Station, Handleman and Co. came upon the battered five-storey Marunouchi Kaikan building. The Kaikan was semi-derelict but it would do. Handleman’s group obtained a lease and patched up the building, creating hostel space for some 170 correspondents and making it their new home even before repairs were completed. Early on, someone named it ‘No.1 Shimbun Alley’ and the name stuck.

Prime location

The Alley no longer exists. Located in Marunouchi, the district between Tokyo station and the Imperial Palace, it was part of Mitsubishi Estate’s holdings and later disappeared into one of the block-sized buildings put up after the Occupation ended in 1951. However, even after several relocations, Marunouchi’s central street, Naka-dori, stretching ten blocks between Otemachi and Hibiya, has remained the Club’s playground right up to the present. Naka-dori was convenient and destined to become Tokyo’s somewhat narrower version of Park Avenue. With the Ginza within walking distance, it was a terrific location.

As for those early war correspondents, a dwindling number kept the world informed about Japan’s transformation under the Occupation, but by mid-1947 they were down to only 40 members, 35 sharing 24 rooms. Despite introducing weekly dances and special dinners to generate revenue, the Club was in severely straitened circumstances.



Happy days: Hessell Tiltman, fourth down, dark suit.
Edwin “Ed” Hoffman, white shirt, 2nd down,
and others enjoying the special camaraderie of the FCCJ.

War to the rescue

Rescue and rejuvenation came in June 1950 with the Korean War. Correspondents surged into Japan to cover the war and Club membership soared to a high of 350. Of course, this is the upside, for eighteen of our correspondents died in the Korean War and are memorialized on a plaque in the Club’s entryway.

Sovereignty returned to Japan in 1952, bringing the Club under Japanese law and a change of title to The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. As such, the Club became a non-profit organization (shadan hojin) under the auspices of the Foreign Office, largely through the efforts of charter-member Hessell Tiltman, who had covered pre-war Japan for the London Daily Express, returned in 1945 for the Manchester Guardian and later switched to the Economist. Tiltman, the classic correspondent, who served as Treasurer and several times as President, was especially valuable for nourishing and maintaining the Club’s long and harmonious relationship with our landlord, Mitsubishi Estates.

Moving on

Following the 1953 Korean armistice, a drop in correspondents led to the relocation of 1955, when the Club moved to recently vacated American Club premises on a nearby corner at Naka-dori. The move altered the character of the Club, with hostel facilities a fading memory and a substantial increase in Associate members bringing in much-needed revenue. Special arrangements with the American Club and the Yokohama Yacht Club extended automatic membership of both Clubs to any member applying to the FCCJ, a considerable perk that continued until 1959. In fact, a fair-sized cohort of members belonged to the American Club but for various reasons still maintained offices in Marunouchi and needed somewhere to go for lunch after their own club moved to distant Azabudai.


Associate membership, initially intended for family members, had existed as a separate category since the Club’s 1946 Constitution. However, non-family Associate members, such as accountant Bill Salter, were active from 1947. The Club from its inception has always been run by Regular members, correspondents assigned to Japan who elected from among their number Club officers and Board directors as well as volunteers to participate in the committees that ensure the viability and vitality of the Club. Over the years, countless Associate members have volunteered their talents for Committee work. Sometime in the mid-1960s the ratio of Associate to Regular members was set at four to one.



Chiyoda Building Annex, the FCCJ’s third club house


An oddly subdued gathering in the infamous
Stag Bar in the basement of the Chiyoda Building:
was it really so risqué?

The Chiyoda Building Annex

Our tenancy of the former American Club premises proved short-lived, however, and in 1958 the FCCJ moved two blocks up Naka-dori in the direction of Hibiya to its home for the next 18 years. For most members, the new building, re-named the Chiyoda Building Annex, held far greater appeal in terms of layout and location. Just around the corner and across Hibiya-dori was the famous ‘Double Bridge’ (Nijubashi) crossing the moat into the Imperial Palace grounds. The then-headquarters in Yurakucho for the Asahi Shimbun was within walking distance, as were theatres, restaurants, and shopping areas and the Ginza. A new center of social life for Club members was in the making.

The FCCJ occupied the lower floors, with reception on the first floor, the main bar and dining room easily accessible up a stairway, a Library much expanded from an initial contribution by Ian Mutsu in 1947, and workrooms available around the clock. The Stag Bar in the basement gained a degree of infamy for its huge calendar photo of a nude Marilyn Monroe (“The Marilyn”), and signage ‘For Stags Only’ fashioned from a cut-out of a naked Japanese model. The late James Michener coordinated the move but had little to do with the signage. In 1963, the model cut-out was replaced by the new/old ‘Shimbun Alley’ title, and in 1969 the Stag Bar retreated upstairs to the second floor.

No.1 Shimbun and other changes

Shimbun itself, meaning newspaper in Japanese, continued to play a large part in the Club’s identity with the establishment of the Club’s monthly publication, No. 1 Shimbun, in 1968. Sports, too, came to play vital part in Club life. Golf from 1963 and its semi-annual tournaments became a tradition, reaching a high point when the winner’s trophy in May of 1983 was presented by Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. From 1972 until the 1990s, Softball became an FCCJ preoccupation, with the ‘Alley Cats’ team of members and staff echoing the Club’s first name and address. Interest in tennis seems to have run hot and cold.

Entertainment and social events also increased in number and variety after the 1958 move. Anniversary parties, with skits by members spoofing themselves and skewering the mighty, became more subdued in later years, and the skits fell by the wayside.



40th Anniversary Party - Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko, 1985


Britain’s Princess Margaret, Antony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowdon) and FCCJ President Ugo Puntieri, 1969

Distinguished guests

Appearances by royalty included a reception for Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon in 1969, and in 1985 Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko were the highlight of the 40th anniversary party. Inaugural parties for new administrations, once a huge draw, disappeared after the 1990s, as did fashion shows by such luminaries as Hanae Mori and Issey Miyake. National ‘nites’ sponsored by embassies, musical evenings from modern to classical, cultural events scrutinizing aspects of Japan alongside prefectural offerings, wine and sake tastings, bingo games all have a long, continuing history. The regular movie nights of earlier years later morphed into special presentations by filmmakers themselves. Meanwhile the personal introduction of new books with author appearances at our Book Breaks have become semi-professional events.


Professional Activities – so critical to the Club’s identity – also changed with the times. The military briefings of earlier years and the occasional but extraordinary press luncheons attended by General MacArthur and other top brass during the Occupation were replaced from the late 1950s by expanded and more varied professional events. Club records show two professional events in 1956 quadrupling to eight in 1958 and then increasing rapidly until they passed the 100 mark in 1991. Speakers at these events included prime ministers, presidents, foreign ministers, ambassadors, religious leaders, movie stars, cosmonauts, astronauts, writers, scholars, financiers, business tycoons, and experts from every field of human endeavor imaginable, including a heart-transplant surgeon.

Internationally oriented, the FCCJ on occasion failed to invite speakers likely to attract Japanese journalists, and so some 25 years after the surrender of 1945, Japanese journalists decided to create their own nationally oriented club.

In late 1969, the formation of the Japan National Press Club increased the competition for top-flight speakers, and the 1970s saw some falling-off in appearances by high-ranking politicians and government officials at the FCCJ.

Kisha kurabu

Access to local news sources was made difficult by Japan’s kisha kurabu (‘press club’) system and the hundreds of small clubs attached to ministries, agencies, trade associations, and so on, that limit access to press conferences to members. This became a problem for foreign media organisations trying to set coverage of the 1959 wedding of Crown Prince Akihito and Michiko Shoda. This in turn inspired the FCCJ to form an independent organization, the Foreign Press in Japan (FPIJ) to deal with issues of press coverage and freedom of the press. Membership in the FCCJ is not required to join the FPIJ, which continues today as an important go-between with Japanese authorities.



Parade to new No.1 Shimbun Alley, the Yurakucho Denki Building, 1976

Over to Yurakucho

Relocation came again in 1976, and this time to new premises with one of the best views in Tokyo. The 20th floor of the Yurakucho Denki Building, standing on the corner of Naka-dori and Harumi-dori, the broad street separating Marunouchi from Hibiya, became our new home. Located between Yurakucho train station on the Yamanote line and Naka-dori, the building also had convenient subway stops in the basement.

Considerable fanfare marked the move, with a parade down Naka-dori led by a Scots duo of bagpiper/drummer and four former presidents – John Roderick (AP), John Rich NBC), Mack Chrysler (USN&WR), and Max Desfor (AP)—marching abreast bearing the Club’s bronze name plaque and followed by members carrying the FCCJ banner. It was a short march of only three blocks to the new premises.

The views of a distant Mt. Fuji and much of Tokyo Bay delighted members, as did the first-class amenities. Over time, these views became mostly blocked as high-rise buildings mushroomed around us, although a partial view of the Imperial grounds on one side and Ginza on the other remained. And a glance down Naka-dori toward Otemachi still takes in all of Marunouchi, the largest business district in Japan. Later renovations included a spiral staircase providing direct access to the 19th floor after the Library and workrooms were moved there in the late 1990s to allow expansion of the dining and bar areas and easier access to the Club offices next to the Library.


Subtle changes in the character of the Club followed each relocation. The 1954 move ended the war-correspondent aura of earlier years even though members continued to cover such conflicts as the Quemoy/Matsu bombardments in the 1950s and the Vietnam war that ended in 1971.

This last war added seven more FCCJ members to our 18 casualties of the Korean War. While the 1958 move to cozier premises strengthened the journalistic ambience and camaraderie of the Club, it also saw a shift toward business and economic news coverage in response to Japan’s sustained economic growth and trade anomalies. That trend accelerated after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the same year a business correspondent, Buddy Cohn of Fairchild Publications, was elected President despite some questions over his status as a ‘traditional correspondent’.

Similarly, the 1976 move to the Yurakucho Denki Building affected the Club’s character, with some eventual dimming of camaraderie and journalistic ambience. Club veterans cite one cause as the 1990 replacement of the small ‘Shimbun Alley’ bar, still dominated by the blowup of Marilyn Monroe, by a sushi bar that resulted in a diaspora of veterans who had made it something of a sanctuary. Additionally, the earlier diversification trend saw the generalists of yore replaced by correspondents specializing in financial, business, cultural, and scientific news. But the major catalyst dimming the old spirit was the rapid growth of the digital age and networking, which lessened correspondents’ dependence on Club facilities or the need to meet, greet and swap news with other journalists. Finally, the bursting of Japan’s economic bubble in the early 1990s and the following ‘lost decades’ made Japan less newsworthy, with a shift of journalistic interest to China and Korea.

Japan’s economic doldrums affected Club membership as well. Overwhelming applications for Associate membership from the mid-1960s resulted in us putting a ceiling on that category and a years-long waiting list, but over time, those numbers dropped to a mere 20 in 1995, partly due to the economic situation and partly due to competition in an increasingly cosmopolitan Tokyo. A membership category introduced in 1975, Professional Associate, gave local foreign journalists the same status as Regular members, except for voting rights. A special category was also created in the 21st century to attract younger members.



Eisaku Sato and Albert (Al) Kaff, 1967

From shadan hojin to koeki status

The Club entered a new era in 2011 following revision of Japanese law that eliminated its shadan hojin status in 2014. In its stead, a majority chose to seek koeki or ‘public-interest’ status, which meant that 50% or more of its funds must be used for public service or benefit. To meet this goal, the Club opted to outsource its food-and-beverage operation – the first contract went to the Tokyu Group’s International Restaurant Services (IRS) – that necessitated a large and painful reduction in Club staff. A referendum in 2012 approved the plan for koeki status by a two-thirds majority. Revision of the Articles of Association and Bylaws, also a requirement, passed in 2013 and took effect upon our change of status on April 1, 2014. This controversial restructuring brought another first to the Club in the form of lawsuits, two involving former employees, another by a group of members questioning the validity of the outsourcing contract, and one by an individual over alleged defamation of character.



Last night before renovation, 1993

The final move

In October 2018, the Club moved to new premises for the fifth time, relocating to the fifth and sixth floors of the Nijubashi Building on Nakadori. With the move, we exchanged our bird’s- eye view of Yurakucho for a side view of the Imperial Palace grounds, but we were still in the same neighborhood. The atmosphere in the Club also changed, and the membership has been adjusting itself accordingly.

Despite going through so many changes over the years, the FCCJ of 2013-2014 had gained considerable status as one of the oldest, largest, and most active press clubs in the world. Journalistic ambience and the spirit of camaraderie remained alive and well. The membership stood at some 2,000, including in the Regular category over 300 foreign correspondents and their Japanese counterparts, many with significant careers outside Japan, as well as over 200 Professional Associates working as local journalists. Associate members numbered somewhat fewer than 1,500 and ranged from entrepreneurs to business executives and a variety of other professionals. Honorary membership, usually accorded to ambassadors, speakers at PAC and Book Break events, and special guests, remains a separate category dating from the Club’s earliest days, and is not counted in our membership rolls.

Charles Pomeroy became a Member of the FCCJ in 1965, and has been a Regular Member since 1967. His edited history of the Club, Foreign Correspondents in Japan (1998) provides definitive detail on the Club’s founding years and telling insights on the Club’s fortunes during the Korean and Vietnam wars, and all the years running up to publication.

Obituary: Richard Halloran, 1930-2020


Richard Halloran



We have lost one of our outspoken and respected former members, who liked to call himself ‘an ink-stained wretch’. Richard “Dick” Halloran died on August 30, 2020, at his home in Boulder, Colorado, at the age of 90 after a long career as a journalist and author. His career began with Business Week in 1957, followed by a two-year stint as the Tokyo Bureau Chief for McGraw Hill’s World News from 1962 and membership in the FCCJ. He then took a position with The Washington Post, which assigned him to Tokyo as its bureau chief in 1966 for two years. After a year back in Washington, he joined The New York Times to return to Tokyo in September of 1971 as its Tokyo bureau chief, a position he held until 1976.

Still with NYT, Halloran’s journalistic focus shifted from Japan to investigative and energy reporting before his assignment in 1979 to cover defense and military affairs in Washington, D.C. over the next ten years. Having been born into a military family, his father was a Naval officer and he himself had served as a paratroop officer in the U.S. Army, he was well prepared for that last assignment.

After retiring from the Times in 1990, Halloran became Director of the Program on Communications and Journalism at the University of Hawaii’s East-West Center in Honolulu until 1994. He then took an editorial post at a now defunct Honolulu newspaper that was replaced in 2010 by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, for which he wrote a weekly column about U.S. relations with Asia called “The Rising East” for several years.

During his time in Tokyo, Halloran was an active FCCJ member who strongly criticized Japan’s kisha (journalist) clubs for their exclusionary control of official news events. This criticism was included in his 1960s book “Japan: Images and Realities” that drew the attention of Japanese media. He also participated in debates over FCCJ membership qualifications for correspondents of government-sponsored media, such as NPR and Star & Stripes, versus those of correspondents from communist countries such as the Peoples Republic of China. He will also be remembered by the Club’s baseball fans as the center fielder for the Alley Cats, our baseball team, in the 1970s.

In addition to his first book on Japan, Halloran wrote a half dozen books on various subjects from military affairs and international relations to the lives of notable Japanese Americans, such as Senator Spark M. Matsunaga. He received numerous awards over his long career, including the George Polk Award for National Reporting, the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense, and the U.S. Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he also held an MA in East Asian Studies from the University of Michi- gan and a Ford Foundation Fellowship in Advanced International Reporting at Columbia University.

Richard Halloran is survived by his wife of 42 years, Fumiko Mori Halloran, as well as two daughters from an earlier marriage and five grandchildren. His son from the earlier marriage, Christopher, died of cancer in 2015.

Fumiko, it should be noted, also was writer who authored over a half dozen books, primarily in Japanese.

Personally, Richard and Fumiko Halloran were good friends with whom my wife and I shared companionship and dinners during Hawaii visits in the first decade of this century. “Dick,” as we called him, was “a thoroughly decent man...a meticulous and fair reporter...and a thoughtful host who gathered informed Japanese and foreigners for stimulating seminars.” These words were taken from his post-mortem tribute to Sam Jameson that was sent to the Club in 2013. They apply to Dick, but I would add that he was also insightful and a great guy.

RIP, Richard “Dick” Halloran, you will not be forgotten.

Charles Pomeroy


Regular by eggs



 10/03 - 11/06 

Photo Correspondent Stanley Troutman: From Hollywood to the Pacific War


 11/07 - 12/04 

Dog Rescue Support / group photo exhibition


 12/05 - 01/08 

Total Recall: Remembering Japan’s Temple of Speed / photos by Joe Honda


New in the Library


By More Than Providence:
Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific Since 1783

Michael J. Green
Columbia University Press


Healing Labor:
Japanese Sex Work in the Gendered Economy
Gabriele Koch
Stanford University Press

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