Isabel Reynolds has been covering Japanese politics and diplomacy for Bloomberg News since 2012, mostly in text form, with occasional forays into radio and television. Before that, she worked for Reuters in Tokyo for more than a decade, writing about everything from showbiz to missile defense. Originally from the UK, she has also worked in TV news in London, covering stories across Europe and Africa. She has a master's degree in Japanese studies from the University of Essex and her first home in Japan was in Fukushima Prefecture.
Andy Sharp is the deputy politics and economics editor at the Nikkei Asian Review, responsible for writing, commissioning and editing stories from across Asia from New Zealand to Pakistan. Previously, Andy covered Japanese and Korean politics at Bloomberg in Tokyo. Andy has been in Japan for about two decades in total and a member of the FCCJ for 13 years.
Walter Sim is Japan correspondent for The Straits Times, a Singapore-based English language newspaper. He graduated with a degree in communications studies from the Nanyang Technological University's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information in 2012. He has been with The Straits Times since, first covering domestic crime and politics before relocating to Tokyo in June 2016. He now reports on a wide range of Japan-related issues, including politics, diplomacy, economics and social issues. Read his stories at: www.straitstimes.com/authors/walter-sim
Ilgin Yorulmaz is a multimedia journalist covering foreign policy and technology for BBC World Service Turkish and other digital news outlets, based in Tokyo. As a foreign correspondent, she reported on culture, human rights and ethnic minorities from the US, Turkey, India, Nepal, and the Philippines for The HuffPost, VICE, The Guardian, Vogue, and appeared as a commentator on Deutsche Welle. Before moving to Tokyo, she freelanced in London, Istanbul, and New York, and reported on the ground the night of Turkey's failed coup d'etat in 2016. She also traveled to the Turkish-Syrian border to cover repercussions of the conflict in Syria from a women's rights perspective, which led to stories on child brides, Syrian refugees, and political Islam. She holds a Master's from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a second Master's from the International University of Japan in Niigata, where she majored in International Relations. She is a 2017 East West Center Fellow and a 2016 White House Correspondents Association Scholar. She also teaches journalism as an adjunct professor at Temple University's Japan campus. She is fluent in Turkish, English, and Japanese. Ilgin also curates books on local backstreet shops and has authored three books as a spin-off of her critically-acclaimed online publication Pukka Living - A Modern Guide to Istanbul, which she founded and edited for seven years until her move to New York in 2015.
Mehdi Bassiri was a career diplomat with the Iranian foreign affairs ministry. He served at the Iranian Embassy in London before his posting as first secretary to the Iranian Embassy in Tokyo in charge of consulate affairs and press relations. In 1980 he resigned his diplomatic career because of disagreements with the new Iranian revolutionary regime and established his own trading company. Immediately after becoming an FCCJ member, he became involved in the Club’s social activities, first joining the Associate Liaison Committee, and organizing an annual Persian New Year Night that drew capacity bookings to enjoy Iranian food and music. He has served as co-chair of the Membership Marketing Committee, and chairman of the Wine Committee. He has also been a long-time member of the Food & Beverage Committee, including serving as secretary, co-chair and chairman.
Mary Corbett, Cresner Media
profile to be announced later
Simon Farrell is co-founding publisher at Custom Media, which produces magazines for the American (The ACCJ Journal), British (BCCJ ACUMEN) and Canadian (The Canadian) chambers of commerce in Japan, and an executive producer of online video channel In Japan TV. Simon has spent about 24 years in Tokyo over three visits since 1987, including at the Daily Yomiuri (now Japan News) as a page editor of news, opinion and lead stories (2001-2004). He was also based in South Africa, Cuba and the United Arab Emirates for the UK, US and local press (1993-2001). Simon holds qualifications from the London School of Journalism; the Board Director Training Institute of Japan; Financial Times Non-Executive Director Programme; Oxford Executive Leadership Programme at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and the MBA Essentials course at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His other volunteer positions are vice-chairman of the South African Chamber of Commerce in Japan; Executive Committee member and consultant at the Japan Market Expansion Competition; Chairman of the TAC Talk speaker events sub-committee and memeber of the Culture, Community & Entertainment Committee at Tokyo American Club, and Executive Board Director at Animal Refugee Kansai. He has written two books: South Africa Chic (Editions Didier Millet, 2008) and Getaway's Top Ten-Southern Africa's top travel destinations (Reader's Digest, 2001); in 2015, he was presented with the Japan-British Society Award for helping bilateral cultural and business ties by HIH Princess Akiko of Mikasa.
Peter O'Connor first came to Japan in 1976, when he wrote advertising copy for Dentsū at their old headquarters in Tsukiji. He first visited the FCCJ in 1977 when he was introduced to Murray Sayle. Forty years on, Peter is back at the Club as an historian of the transnational media of East Asia. In 2016, on the anniversary of the Ester Rising in Dublin, he published An tÉirí Amach sa Domhan Thoir: Mar a chonaic an tSeapáin, an tSín agus an Chóiré éirí amach na Cásca is a thionchar (Dublin, Coiscéim: 2016), on the influence of the Rising on independence movements in East Asia, especially Korea. His monograph, The English-language press networks of East Asia, 1918-45, was launched –– with a jacket design by Number1 Shimbun’s Andrew Pothecary –– at a Book Break in 2010. More recently, Peter has been setting up databases of historical Asian newspapers for a Netherlands publisher, editing a book on Korean press history, and completing another on Sapajou, the legendary cartoonist of the North-China Daily News. His greatest hope for the Club is that his colleagues on the board will see the light and install a full-size snooker table near the main bar.
Dan Sloan joined the FCCJ in 1994. He served as President in 2004 and 2005-06. He reported for Knight-Ridder and Reuters for nearly two decades and is now a regular contributor to Eurobiz Japan.
Vicki L. Beyer is a dual national (Australia/USA) who has lived more than 30 years in Japan. She is admitted as a lawyer in the American state of Washington and worked for 17 years as an in-house lawyer in Tokyo, specializing in employment law and corporate governance. She is currently a professor of law at Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of Law Business Law Department and writes travel pieces and occasional commentary on Japanese culture and society on a free-lance basis. She is also a "Cool Ota-ku Ambassador", a kind of community goodwill ambassador for Tokyo's Ota Ward.