In this issue

Justin McCurry

As we enter the rainy season and brace for what promises to be a scorching summer, now feels like the right time to highlight Japan’s urban green spaces – those that have proved masterstrokes of design and accessibility, and others that are threatened by developers. Bob Whiting issues a call to save his beloved Meiji Jingu Gaien, while Stephen Mansfield takes us on a tour of the country’s best urban gardens. Hiroshima has just hosted what many believe was a successful G7 summit, with what would otherwise have been a humdrum affair rescued – at least for those of us encamped in the media center – by the “surprise” arrival of the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Jake Adelstein and Monzurul Huq recall their three days covering discussions among the world’s most powerful democracies. Elsewhere in this issue, David McNeill pores over the recent Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, while Anthony Rowley reports on an FCCJ appearance by the former Malaysian prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad. Karyn Nishimura looks at how the G7 may have boosted Fumio Kishida’s prospects, while Dave McCombs presents the first survey on pay among FCCJ member journalists. In their regular columns, Eric Johnston offers advice on how to avoid unwanted ursine encounters in Hokkaido, while Philip Brasor and Masako Tsubuku preview worrying changes to Japan’s huge distribution sector. Soon after publishing his first book, club stalwart Pat Killen has sadly died at the age of 93. Dan Sloan pays tribute to the original Alleycat.

Cover artwork: Julio Shiiki