Dear members,
Don’t leave the FCCJ in limbo! That’s my slogan for June, and for the next few weeks I will be repeating it until I go blue in the face.  Our election for the Board is coming up and it’s vital that it goes smoothly so that a new Board can be appointed immediately to steer the Club through the most difficult time it’s ever faced.  That means we need people to run as Directors and Kanji, and we also need everyone eligible to vote.  What we must avoid at all costs is an inconclusive election like the one we held a year ago, which forced us to repeat the ballot twice and resulted in a caretaker Board that for two months was unable to take any concrete steps to improve the situation.

You may think voting’s a hassle, but it’s easier than ever now that we have the ElectionBuddy system, introduced by my very capable col-league, Reed Stevenson.  Not everyone used it when we voted on the budget in the spring, probably because it was unfamiliar.  Starting on June 9, please keep an eye out for an email from  This will be your ballot, including a unique access key that will eliminate the process of hand-counting, thus reducing the risk of errors. Online voting helps us save on costs, which is particularly important at this point, as the Club continues to be pummeled by the pandemic. Please set aside a few minutes to do this in June, help ensure the future of the FCCJ, and avoid being pestered to take part in a repeat election. While we will be offering other methods of voting for those who cannot take part online, please make sure you don’t vote twice.

I’m aware that many members haven’t visited the Club in recent months, due to understandable health concerns. That may mean that you don’t personally know the people on the ballot. Please don’t let that stop you voting for them.  I would urge you to read their statements, ask around, and pick a full quota of Board members based on the information available to you. In addition, we will be presenting to you again a series of proposed amendments to our Articles and Bylaws. We’ll be re-sending information on these in the near future.

More and more Club members tell me they’ve been vaccinated, or at least have appointments in hand, so the recovery from the pandemic is finally starting to seem less like a hallucination. As I mentioned in a previous message, the Board  decided some months ago to take part in the Japan Market Expansion Competition, in which a group of young business people was assigned to conduct research for the FCCJ and plan all sorts of improvements, including financial ones. As the inoculation drive accelerates, and our members are once again able to gather, I’m hopeful the new Board will be able to put the JMEC plan into action, and prove that our 76-year-old organization has a vital role to play in the 2020s.

  • Isabel Reynolds has been reporting for Bloomberg in Tokyo since 2012. She has lived in Japan for more than 20 years and been a regular member of the FCCJ for most of that time.