THAT TIME IS ALMOST upon us again. June, the onset of rainy season and the FCCJ elections. It is time to ask who will step forward to take the baton.

Several of us on the Board have been in the same positions for three years now. We have made some tough decisions and enacted a number of long- overdue reforms. As a result, the Club is now on a much more sound financial footing. And we are on the way to securing public- interest non-profit status that will give us a solid legal footing in Japanese society.

We have made progress because, unlike the Boards in years past, we have shared a common purpose; we have not been wracked by continual disagreements. And I think I can speak for my fellow Board members in saying that we are proud of what we have achieved.

However, we are more than a bit weary from our efforts. So we are eager to find responsible, clear-headed Regular Members who are prepared to step up and carry on the work of securing the FCCJ’s future.

Personally, I would like nothing better than to hand this job over to someone who could build on what we have done. So I have been asking everyone who might be appropriate to run. Unfortunately, it seems those who have the right credentials don’t have the time and those who have the time don’t have the credentials.

When you have a pool of just 300 journalists from which to draw, it is a struggle to find 10 people who have the time, the competence and the willingness to serve. The toughest seats to fill are Treasurer (since journalists are usually more literate than numerate) and President (given that the job demands a measure of seniority).

Fortunately, from next year it will be easier once we can draw on the skills and experience of Associate Members who will be given seats on the Board. But we have one last election under the old rules.

Of course, we can expect candidates who will run with the intention of undoing all our work over the past three years. In that event, if there is no one willing to stay the course, what am I to do? I have no wish to be “president for life.”

If necessary, though, reluctantly I will run again.

— Georges Baumgartner