From the Editor

Justin McCurry

Last month was the FCCJ’s annual opportunity to recognize the incredible work performed by our colleagues in Japan and across Asia. It became clear during the Freedom of the Press Committee’s initial discussions that there was one group of media workers who could not be overlooked, despite being located outside the region. For their courage, sacrifice and determination to report directly from the claws of danger, the Asia Award went to the journalists of Gaza. Closer to home, the club honored Rodrigue Maillard-Belmonte of NHK Global with the Japan Award for his reporting on the country's marginalized communities, including the children of refugees. For a full list of recipients, please click on Eric Johnston’s report on a memorable evening. In this month’s cover story, David McNeill laments the exodus of foreign media organizations from Tokyo, while Mark Schreiber takes another walk through history – this time to the former site of an Edo-era juvenile reform facility. We are delighted to run an extract from Thomas Lockley’s new book A Gentleman from Japan: The Untold Story of an Incredible Journey from Asia to Queen Elizabeth’s Court ahead of his Book Break appearance this month. Fred Varcoe reports on a visit to the club by Tomomi Inada, fresh from her adventures in the waters surrounding the Senkaku islands, and in their regular columns, Philip Brasor weighs up the odds of a change to the imperial succession laws and Eric Johnston casts a wary eye over Hokkaido’s plans to pacify its increasingly restless bear population.

Cover by Julio Shiiki - Images: Unsplash