In this issue

Justin McCurry

Last month the FCCJ’s Freedom of the Press Committee honored organizations and individuals who over the past year have shown immense courage in resisting attempts to silence them, often at great personal risk. The Club’s president, Suvendrini Kakuchi, refers to the awards in her message this month, and the Number 1 Shimbun will be devoting part of the June issue to their achievements and the awards ceremony. As the magazine approached deadline, we received the sad news that veteran Club member Henry Scott-Stokes had died after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Anthony Rowley has written a touching obituary of our friend and colleague, and we will be running another tribute in next month’s issue. After weeks of war in Ukraine, alarm about rising energy and consumer prices, and yet more warnings about the impact of the climate crisis, I thought the time was right to lead with articles on something many of us turn to for light relief: sport. Bob Whiting has written about the decades he spent covering Japanese baseball, while Sean Carroll looks at the changing relationship between the media and Japanese football. David McNeill explains why a shady campaign of intimidation against a truck drivers’ union in Osaka is being ignored by much of the media, while Ilgin Yorulmaz contrasts Japan’s treatment of Ukrainian refugees with that of people fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan. In his Japan Media Watch column, Philip Brasor delves into the controversy surrounding an Asahi Shimbun reporter, and in the first installment of what I hope will be a regular dispatch from the far north, Eric Johnston reports on how the Ukraine war is affecting attitudes towards Russians in Hokkaido.

Photos via Unsplash - Artwork by Julio Shiiki