FCCJ General Membership Meeting 7:00 p.m., Monday, March 22, 2021

March 8, 2021

Notice to Regular Members of General Membership Meeting 7:00 p.m., Monday, March 22

Dear FCCJ Regular Members,

I hope this message finds you well.

As every March, the FCCJ needs your support to pass the Club’s Budget and Business Plan for next fiscal year, without which we cannot operate the Club. This time, we will also be asking you to vote on a levy and a number of amendments to our Articles and Bylaws.

This letter is the formal notice that a *General Meeting of Regular Members will be held on Monday, March 22, 2021* in accordance with Article 16 of the Articles of Association. Due to the pandemic, the meeting will be held *on Zoom only and therefore no meal will be provided.*

*Together with this letter, you will find a package of materials explaining the voting process. Regardless of whether you are able to attend the meeting, I urge you to participate by casting your vote online, by email, fax, post or in person (before the meeting), or assigning a proxy. All these options count towards reaching the all-important quorum for a meeting. If we don't form a quorum on March 22, we can't pass the Budget; if we can't pass the Budget, we can't run the Club.**
The FCCJ is adopting for the first time an online voting system. To ensure a smooth transition, we will allow voting via website or email (responses similar to past elections). Please CHOOSE ONE method only, although we encourage you to vote online via the website.

*The agenda for the meeting will be:**
**(1) That the current monthly relocation levy of 1,000 yen, which expires this month, be replaced with a monthly recovery levy of 1,500 yen for a period of one year to help the Club recover from the effects of the pandemic.**
**(2) That the proposed FY2021 Budget be approved.**
**(3) That the proposed FY2021 Business Plan be approved.**
**(4) That we vote on seven groups of amendments and clarifications to the Articles of Association and the Bylaws, including one that would change the terms of Board members to two years from the current one year, starting from the next election.**
**(5) That the maximum age defined as “young” for the purposes of setting dues levels be raised to 40 from the current 35.**
*Please**see the attached documents for details, but I will summarize the arguments for our reluctant decision to propose a small rise in the levy. The pandemic has had an unprecedented financial impact on the club, causing a decline in membership, which is our main source of income, and preventing us from hosting events that can bring additional profit to the Club. Despite our efforts to cut costs, and even with the levy, we expect to make an annual loss of 1.67 million yen next year. If the levy is not approved, we expect that loss to swell to more than 30 million yen.

Among the amendments to the Articles and Bylaws, I urge you to exercise great caution on the question of the Board member terms in Group 4 of the explanatory memo. While the Cabinet Office has suggested two-year terms to improve continuity of management, I believe such a change could discourage many members from running for office.

I stress that we need at least half of the Regular Membership to take part for the General Membership meeting to reach a quorum.

Whether or not you attend the meeting, you can participate by:

*a. Voting online, by email, fax, post or in person in advance of the meeting**
**b. Assigning a Proxy to another Regular Member or to the Chair of the meeting*

As you will be aware, the FCCJ has had repeated problems establishing a quorum for General Membership Meetings. To pass the amendments to the Articles, we need the approval of two thirds of the Regular Membership – an even higher hurdle. The need to repeat votes causes trouble and expense for the Club, so I do urge you again to exercise your right to vote.

Best regards,

Isabel Reynolds

05 Absentee ballot and proxy form (pdf)