In this issue

Justin McCurry

With almost 600 days to go until Osaka hosts the 2025 World Expo, you could argue that the recent bout of fretting over preparations for the event is a little premature. But, as Eric Johnston explains in this month’s cover story, there is plenty to worry about, from high admission prices to labor shortages and a distinct lack of enthusiasm among the public and participating countries. Elsewhere, Stephen Mansfield delves into the fascinating world of bonsai via the Shunkaen nursery in Tokyo, while Bradley Martin delivers a touching eulogy to his friend and former FCCJ stalwart Mike “Buck” Tharp. In their regular columns, Philip Brasor and Masako Tsubuku explain why Japan’s Self-Defense Forces are struggling to attract new recruits, while in his dispatch from the far north, Eric warns that the arrival of next-generation semiconductors in Hokkaido could turn out to be a fool’s errand. Now that FCCJ members are trickling back to Tokyo after the summer holidays, this feels like the right time to encourage you to pitch to the Number 1 Shimbun. As you can see from recent issues, we love stories about everything from our work as journalists and Japan’s media landscape to contemporary politics and economics and, of course, FCCJ news and events. There is always space, too, for photography and reflections on history and culture … anything that adds to our knowledge and appreciation of this fascinating country. Please don’t be shy – your magazine needs you.

Logo of Expo 2025, Osaka: Wikipedia - Cover by Julio Shiiki