National

Japan's foreign press club to return to Tokyo's Marunouchi district

Kyodo

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan will relocate on Oct. 29 to Tokyo’s Marunouchi business district, where former war correspondents and photographers established the club following World War II.

The FCCJ’s departure from its current premises in the Yurakucho Denki Building marks its fourth relocation since it was established in September 1945. It was originally based in the Marunouchi Kaikan hall. The club later relocated in 1954 and 1958, both within the Marunouchi district, before settling into Yurakucho in 1976.

During a recent preview of the FCCJ’s new home in the newly built Marunouchi Nijubashi Building, general manager Marcus Fishenden said the club faces “new challenges and new opportunities” as a viable institution.

The club’s new premises feature several function rooms for news conferences and other events, a main bar and balcony terrace on the fifth floor, and a library, work room and studio on the sixth floor of the 30-story building.

The club once played host to many prominent Japanese and foreign newsmakers, including Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka in 1974 and real estate developer Donald Trump — now U.S. president — in 1993.

But it has not been so successful in drawing such famous guest speakers in recent years, partly because many foreign news outlets have shifted their focus from Japan to China.

The number of FCCJ members at the end of September this year stood at 1,856, compared with a peak of 2,264 in May 2008. The number of regular members or working journalists with voting rights now totals 266, down sharply from a high of 495 in April 1992.