If you polish your glasses and squint hard enough, you can just about see it. Yes, that tiny, unfamiliar thing in the distance is a faint sign of light at the end of the tunnel. It’s hard to focus on it when Japan has just recorded a new high of 2,684 virus cases in a day and the third wave of the pandemic is casting a pall over the normally lively end of the year ...
As Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister prepares to ride off into the sunset, the Liberal Democratic Party is agog over who will be the next Prime Minister and which senior lawmakers will finally get that sought-after post in the cabinet after years of waiting. Hardly less momentous than the successor to Shinzo Abe is the appointment of committee chairs to work on all aspects of FCCJ activities.
The life of my 2019-2020 Board has been inadvertently extended by nearly two months, thanks to the complicated election system imposed on us by the Shadan Hojin Law. A certain voting percentage is now essential for any candidate to be elected. When members fail to vote in sufficient numbers, the Club and our staff consume much-needed resources on establishing the new Board of Directors.
I assume that some Members will have read the recent mail saying I will soon be leaving Japan and hence have stepped down as president of the FCCJ.
Danish journalist Thomas Hoy Davidsen has been chosen as the new Club president, but I have been allowed the opportunity to write this final message. Someone who is halfway out the door is typically not of much interest to those that remain, so I want use this space to introduce Thomas.
Dear FCCJ members,
The FCCJ is emerging from the coronavirus lockdown to face new challenges, not the least of which is to put the Club onto a sounder financial footing by extending our professional and social activities.
As we prepare to upgrade our operations in the Club to the "new normal" of reduced hours, distanced tables at the Bar, temperature checks and name registration at the entrance, etc., we are hoping Japan will flatten the curve and get out from the coronavirus soon along with the world.
The Club was happy to host the Japan National Softball Team in September, in what should be another in a series of events in the run up to next year’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Five players attended the evening on Sept. 11, along with the head coach and other officials. We set off a space for the team to show their skills and I can testify that while the ball may be pitched underhand, it certainly moves fast. The team autographed balls for lottery winners, one of which is now in the Club’s display cabinet along with an autographed bat.