Dear AJS members,
By the advent of the unprecedented pandemic of Covid-19, I am afraid some of our members might be forced to lead a different or even difficult life. I sincerely hope you and your family remain safe.
Currently we, the AJS, had to call off almost all the events and even close the office with our staff working from home since the end of last month, as the threat of the epidemic has intensified in the Tokyo metropolitan area. I assume you would have been disappointed with a series of cancellation. Nonetheless, we are confident that the total number of actual events, including the centennial programs, at this year has already reached 37 during these 11 months, dwarfing 33 of the previous 12 months.
It is utterly unpredictable how the pandemic will develop and finally be contained, but the AJS is poised to resume the programs gradually, including preparation for the general assembly, providing the declaration of the state of emergency is rescinded by the government early May as originally planned. But please be advised that any programs or events need to entail some restrictions against the disease, as we have decided to cancel the America Bowl and the spring golf competition, while sustaining a couple of events on line as NGRT (Next Generation’s Roundtable in Tokyo) which is one of the centennial programs. Having said that, we will inevitably and interestingly focus our attention on the US presidential election and, in addition, should organize the reception welcoming the newly assigned US Ambassador to Japan once the outbreak subsides. As such, we will accelerate the resumption of our events and programs in the new fiscal year.
I hope you could stay safe and clear of the virulent virus and we could meet each other again at the earliest opportunities.
In closing, I would like to express my sincere condolence on the late Mrs Yoko Sugiyama, the wife of Ms Shinsuke Sugiyama, the Ambassador to the US, and Ms Irene Hirano, the founding president of the US-Japan Council, both of whom recently passed away after great contributions to the cultural exchange between the two countries.
Thank you very much.
Ichiro Fujisaki, President, the America-Japan Society.