THE MASSIVE SNOWSTORM ON FEB. 8 MAY HAVE created havoc in Tokyo but it was a winter wonderland when viewed from the Club’s 20th floor. More “wow” views appeared a week later when the city was blanketed again. How nice to be at the top. But the “best” spot can be a moving target.

We’ll likely be located more on the middle floors if the Club makes a short move in the direction of Tokyo Station in 2018. Mitsubishi Estate is offering us sections of the 5th and 6th floors of a planned building complex on the present site of the Fuji Bldg. and Tokyo Kaikan. It could be a sweet spot but we’re just beginning negotiations, and our finances need to be thoroughly examined to find if we can afford it. The House & Property Committee will present another report at the next General Membership Meeting on March 26.

Our wide selection of press conferences has been drawing onsite and SNS crowds as well as wide mainstream media attention for the Club. Endless thanks to our hardworking PAC team of Chung-san and Saikawa-san, and the committee members. Feb. 25 was a high point. The morning event featured Olympic skater Mao Asada, fresh off the plane from Sochi. Her appearance was covered by all the major Japanese TV networks and news media outlets and garnered the largest audience ever on our livestream site. It also produced a very active Twitter feed. That same day, our luncheon presser featured Vermont Law School professor Peter Bradford speaking on lessons for Japan’s nuclear industry, while the afternoon press conference included two conservative Tokyo assemblywomen on the “comfort women” issue.

We’re formulating ways the PAC events can better serve the membership. Under consideration are smaller, monthly talks in the evenings that are topic focused. A series on women is in the works. Business, finance and science are also on the list. Most importantly, we’re hoping to bring in younger members with talks on culture/sub-culture themes.

With Mao Asada’s visit, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is hovering ever closer to the Club’s horizons and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has set its sights on the FCCJ. Their promotion division recently approached us on collaborating with the foreign press to promote Tokyo as a visitor destination in the lead-up to the Olympics. We’re now in talks with them on how to proceed. I’ll keep you up to date on our progress.

We’ve also been approached by Nippon TV, which wants to do an approx. 5-min. piece on the Club as part of their popular 60-min. “World Ranking” program to air on Fri. March 21. They're ranking the top foreign news organizations in Japan, and unable to film at any of those offices decided to focus on the FCCJ. Filming will likely be in early March, and they’ve agreed to secure permission for all the footage they shoot.

The Associate Members and Professional Associate Members’ meeting on Feb. 21 was well received. We had a good turnout and the meeting went smoothly (unlike many of the GMMs). AMLC Chairman Kurt Sieber did a terrific job of organizing and running the evening gathering. Among the many topics discussed were the three seats the Associates will gain on the Board of Directors from June, in accordance with Japan’s new law on organizations. Finally, the Associates will be getting real representation at the Club. The search for candidates has officially started.

I also want to remind everyone to please take advantage of our new Membership Campaign that is taking place until March 31. New Associates will receive ¥70,000 credit on the joining fee. Joining fee credit will also be given for new members in all other categories. Members will receive ¥10,000 or ¥20,000 dining vouchers for new member introductions. Please see details on our website. You can also inquire with our staff, Naomichi Iwamura (iwamura@, or Associate member Bill Shin ( who is coordinating the campaign.