FINDING NEW WAYS TO ADD value to membership in the FCCJ is one of the keys to securing the Club’s future. And we must communicate the value we offer.

So I am pleased to communicate that our relationship with the Tokyu Group now affords FCCJ Members a range of discounts and benefits at Tokyu hotels, golf courses and fitness clubs across Japan.

For example, on weekdays FCCJ Members can now “stay and play” at the Katsuura Tokyu Golf Resort for ¥10,000 per person/night. And just by showing your FCCJ card you can visit any Oasis fitness club for ¥1,575.

Perhaps more crucial to Members who cover stories across Japan, and to those who live outside Tokyo, are discounts on hotels like the new Capitol Tokyu, the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel and the Pan Pacific Yokohama. On some rooms at the 5 star Capitol Tokyu, we can get 60 percent off rates that appear to be lower than you find on the internet. Still, ¥22,000 per night is beyond the budget of many Members.

So I have asked Rike Wooten (now advisor to the General Manager) to request a hotel deal near the Club that fits the budgets of our many Members who live outside Tokyo and come into the city once or twice a week. And our alumni who return to visit from overseas. Or for those little occasions when a hotel room is convenient. Ideally, we want something like ¥7,000/night within walking distance of the Club. We will let you know what we can get.

Some of the discount offers change with the season, so check with the FCCJ Front Desk for details. You may also want to sign up as a “Tokyu Comfort member.” This program offers hotel discounts from 10-50 percent, late checkout and frequent stayer points. FCCJ Members need not pay the ¥500 initiation fee.

Adding new value to membership is good, but we need to use that value to recruit new Members. And we need to attract more more banquet business and “power breakfasts” because the FCCJ badly needs more revenue. I have been criticized for painting, with typically Swiss pessimism, too dark a picture of the Club’s finances. But if you look at the expenditures we face just to keep the current facilities running to say nothing about badly needed renovations you will see that I am not exaggerating. We have made significant progress but we are not out of the woods yet.

— Georges Baumgartner