JAMES SIMMS, a Forbes contributor, freelance reporter and television and radio commentator in Tokyo, has covered the Japanese economy and politics for two decades. In 2013-2014, he was a Scripps Journalism Fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he researched energy policy, seismology, seismic engineering, and disaster and risk management. Previously, he spent 15 years at Dow Jones, including as the Wall Street Journal’s “Heard on the Street” columnist in Tokyo, analyzing corporations, policy issues and the economies in Japan and South Korea. In 2011, he won the highest writing award at Dow Jones for a series on Japan’s budget and bureaucracy. He has conducted hundreds of interviews for print and television, including for CNBC, and covered Asia’s financial crisis and the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
1st Vice President
PETER LANGAN has been in the news business in Asia for almost 30 years, with postings in Japan and Singapore, covering stories from Sydney to Ulaanbaatar, Mumbai to Jakarta and many points in between. He was the Tokyo Bureau Chief of Bloomberg News from 2005 to 2009, and later led the bureau’s news team that won two SOPA awards for coverage of Fukushima. He is now an Editor-at-Large at Bloomberg. He is from the U.K., more precisely the City of Liverpool – well known for producing lousy music and useless football teams, with the latter exception of Everton FC.
2nd Vice President
SUVENDRINI KAKUCHI writes for the UK-based global edition of University World News, focusing on higher education issues. She is from Sri Lanka and has a long experience covering Japan-Asia relations that highlight diverse perspectives in the rapidly changing region. She has travelled extensively to report from the ground in the ASEAN and South Asia and is closely connected with the local media. Her stories aim at in-depth coverage of the news behind the news, bringing voices of the people into crucial international debates. She is a 1996/97 Nieman Fellow and author – currently completing her second Japanese book, on natural disasters, community resilience and ethnic identity in Asia.
MARY CORBETT is a writer and producer who was born in Japan to an American father and Japanese mother. She began her career in television work as a location coordinator and director intern for Japanese networks during her university days in California. She has since been working as producer and content contributor to broadcasters in Japan and around the world, starting with a series of ocean documentaries with renowned cinematographer Bob Talbot. She counts NHK, Asahi, TBS, Discovery, ITV, PBS and BBC among her network partners. She also writes for publications in Japan, such as Nikkei Health, Playboy (Japan), Shinchosha, the Japan Times, Medical Globe and others.
YUICHI OTSUKA is a 2nd term Treasurer and long-time Associate Member of the Club. He is a vice president of business development at United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), the world’s 2nd-largest semiconductor foundry. Before taking his current position, he ran a Japanese subsidiary of a European high-tech company for six years. His experience also covers M&A and large-scale structured finance in the semiconductor field.
IMAD AJAMI is the CEO of Irismedia, and the owner and corporate associate of four Pan Arabic magazines. He collaborates with many media organizations in the Middle East. He has long and extensive experience in media, in both the public and private sectors – as director general of information and spokesman for the Lebanese Parliament. He has also been an advisor to many Arab countries at the highest levels of government. In addition to lecturing, he has also been a professor at the Lebanese University for Media & PR, published four books on media and politics and produced two TV documentaries.
MASAAKI FUKUNAGA is serving his fourth consecutive year as FCCJ Board Member. A member of the Club since 2003, Fukunaga has been a correspondent for the Sanmarg, a daily Indian newspaper, since 2002. He fluency in Hindi is due to three years at India’s Banaras University, studying for his Ph.D. in Sociology in the early 1980s. He writes on socio-political developments in South Asia and the relationship between Japan and the South Asian region.
MILTON ISA is a consultant and serves in an advisory capacity with several organizations, including NPOs. He has lived in Tokyo since 1972 and has been a member of the FCCJ since the eighties. He worked in the financial field for over 40 years: he spent 20 years with Merrill Lynch, set up the representative office in Tokyo for Permal Asset Management and was the president and CEO of State Street Japan. He has an MA in Diplomacy from Norwich University and a BA in Business Administration from Seattle University. Isa has lectured at Keio and Hitotsubashi universities and the National Defense Medical College. He retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army Reserves after 30 years.
ROBERT WHITING is the author of several successful books on contemporary Japanese culture, including Tokyo Underworld, The Meaning of Ichiro, The Chrysanthemum and the Bat and the best-selling You Gotta Have Wa. He has published 20 other books in Japanese. He has written for Sports Illustrated, Time, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Japan Times as well as for Japanese publications, including Shukan Asahi and Bungei Shunju. He authored a manga series for Kodansha that sold 750,000 copies in graphic novel form. At present he writes a weekly column for Yukan Fuji. He has lived in Japan on and off for the past 50 years, and is a graduate of Sophia University. Tokyo Underworld is under option to Amazon Studios.
WILLIAM SPOSATO continues as Kanji in the second year of his two-year term. Sposato is a freelance writer, focusing on macroeconomic issues and monetary policy. His stories can be found on the QBeats online publishing site and he has also recently completed an assignment for Finance Asia magazine. Prior to his current work Sposato was deputy bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones and has previously worked for Reuters in a number of roles including Japan bureau chief, New York bureau chief and editor for South Asia. In addition to his writing, Sposato provides media training programs for corporate executives.