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Photo by Gordon Grice

"No radiation data has been observed in Tokyo that may affect the human body."

Dear Members,

There are only 40 days left until the ASAI Tokyo Conference.

Have you already completed your registration? For those who have not yet done so, I advise to complete registration as soon as possible, since the earlybird discount period ends on the 12th of August.

I understand that there are some members who feel hesitant due to a variety of reasons. In order to provide clear ideas, I would like to inform you the latest situation in Tokyo.

First, in regards to the radiation issue, please have a look at the message from the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Japan as follows: As indicated in his message, no radiation data has been observed in Tokyo that may affect the human body. Also, the daily radiation levels in different locations in Japan are shown in the Newspapers every day, and the data in Tokyo has not been changed at all even compared to the levels before the Earthquake.

If there were any shift in the radiation level, the Japanese government would first evacuate the Emperor out of Tokyo. However, the Emperor remains at the Imperial Palace, and more than 13 million people here including myself are leading a normal life in Tokyo. Tokyo is far away from Fukushima and is safe. I can assure you that there is nothing to worry about from this regard.

The only thing changed and unresolved in Tokyo is the power saving issue, which has been put in place due to the failure of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Since public spaces and private companies are obliged to save 15% of electricity, you may notice higher room temperature in those places where the AC is set up with higher temperature.

For those of you who have not done so, I encourage you to read the Conference page of the ASAI website, and complete your registration as it suits you. Let me remind you that every one of your participation will greatly influence the future growth of ASAI, and give a tremendous boost to the association.

This will be a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in numerous events, such as the collaboration with the UIA World Architectural Conference, the Kyoto sketch tour, etc. The representatives of SAI, KAPA, AAAI and JARA have already completed their registration to participate, which will literally make it an international conference.

All the board members are doing our best for the success of the Conference and the development of the association. We hope to see as many of you as possible.

We will look forward to seeing many of you on the 25th of September.
Best regards,

Masaaki Yamada
President, ASAI

"UIA 111 days before the Exhibition"

1st July 2011

Excitement is building around the VAD AIP Exhibition which will open in Tokyo in 111 days as part of the UIA Conference. A massive display promoting the conference and exhibitions is seen daily by thousands of commuters at the Gyoko Underground Gallery (this is the route from the Imperial Palace to Tokyo Station that the Emperor takes when catching a train!) An amazing opportunity for ASAI to promote itself to the world! The VAD Exhibition will open 16.00 - 18.00, Monday 26th September, at the prestigious POLA Museum Ginza.

Download pdf of VAD Exhibition promotion

Recent changes to ASAI Board

8th June 2011

To the ASAI membership:
I am sorry to hear of the resignations, wish Maarten and Scott well and hope they remain involved in the ASAI. I value their contribution to our team. And I stand by the board, the Executive Director and particularly Masaaki Yamada who is ushering us into what I believe to be one of the most exciting years, and conferences in my twenty three year association with the ASAI.
Since I came back from the JARA Conference in Tokyo in 2005 I couldn't wait to return. The sights, the incredible hospitality, the professional connections and mind expanding experiences should not be missed.
I strongly urge you to go!
My best to all,

Chris Grubbs


この5カ月間における役員会での難しい議論の末、5月30日付けで、副会長Maarten van Doorenは、ASAI役員を辞任いたしました。 その数日後の6月1日に会計Scott Baumbergerもまた、彼の役職の辞任を表明いたしました。
Maarten, Scott両氏もASAIの将来を憂いた上のプロポーザルだったと確信しておりますが、そのアプローチの仕方が周囲との摩擦を生み、ひいては信頼関係にまでひびが入る結果となり残念でなりませんが、彼等の判断を尊重し今までの役員会での働きに対し感謝の意を表したいと思います。

ASAI President

7th June 2011

Dear Members of ASAI,

On May 30, 2011, ASAI Vice President Maarten van Dooren resigned from the ASAI Board of Directors. A few days later, on June 1, Treasurer Scott Baumberger submitted his resignation as well.

These resignations followed five months of hard work and difficult discussions, on the part of the board, concerning our finances, decreasing number of members, and potential solutions which included reducing spending for the Executive Director position and increasing spending for member benefits and website improvements. While there was disagreement regarding the cause and extent of the problems and their solutions, we remained unified in our goal of maintaining the healthy operation and prosperity of ASAI. We hope for Maarten’s and Scott’s continuing active membership in the association and thank them for all of their efforts during their time on the board.

Those of us who remain on the board believe that our financial issues are manageable and that Tammy’s efforts in the role of Executive Director are key to our ongoing successes.

In the mean time, I would very much appreciate your continuous support. Thank you.

Best regards,

Masaaki Yamada
ASAI President

Japanese Red Cross Society


4th May 2011

Dear All,

The days that I was engrossed in news reports on TV have passed, and the sense of composure has finally returned to Tokyo. Still, the power shortage in the metropolitan areas is said to continue for a while, and the railways and metros which are Tokyo’s main means of transportation have been operated with the shorter business hours and reduced amount of services.

All of us are thinking of the affected people, and trying to help with as any small things as possible, by accepting inconveniences such as the crowdedness during commuting and the blackout at home. After the disaster, we have seen the shortage of gasoline as well as the buying up of food products also in Tokyo, but people have now resumed their calmness. Even in the affected areas under this high level of crisis, there has been no riot or robbery. You can see that we, Japanese people, are united in order to overcome this hardship.

What is overflowing in Japan now – is love.
Each one of us is truly grateful about the fact that our family, loved ones and friends are alive, and thinking every moment about what we can do to help those people in the affected areas. The thought of solidarity comes not only from Japan, but also so much from all over the world. From the bottom of our heart, we would like to send out our sincere “thanks” to all of you.

AIP26 Tokyo Conference is quietly continuing its preparation. I understand that some of you have some concerns due to the disaster and are unsure whether or not you should participate in the conference. However, I assure you that you can feel safe and come visit us in Tokyo. Visits to Japan, participations to the conference and encouragements of the event by as many people as possible will also support the recovery of Japan.

In addition, using this opportunity, we would like to consider and discuss about what we can do for this type of tragedy and how we can approach to the threat of any natural disasters, not only with ASAI members but also with architects around the world who will participate in UIA Tokyo. I believe that in-depth discussions will inevitably be held on natural disasters, since UIA Tokyo will take place in a country affected an unprecedented disaster.

Last week, some of the board member came to Japan from the Headquarters of UIA France and held a discussion with JOB (Japan Organizing Board) regarding the disaster. At the meeting, it was decided that UIA Tokyo 2011 will be held this year without any change of schedule. They reconfirmed the significance of holding the Conference in the country where the historical disaster struck, and decided to raise a theme to consider what architects can do for these powerful disasters and how they can handle these issues going forward.

At the same time, we have been informed that the Japanese Government will send an official letter to the Architectural Associations in each country and the expected participating associations of UIA Tokyo including ASAI. The letter will contain a message from the Government stating that your visit to Tokyo will be safe and free of anxiety.
To participate in the AIP26 Tokyo conference will become a historical chapter of your life, and I am sure that it will be an unforgettable experience for years to come.

Finally, I would like to share some words with you, which came from a 78-year-old lady who lost her husband in the tsunami. She said “I was crying until yesterday, but I don’t have time for it now” – Likewise, we are still facing some outstanding issues including the unresolved nuclear reactor problem, but we will definitely overcome these issues and stand up again. We are working towards the recovery of our country, and we will highly appreciate your continuous support.

Thank you.

Masaaki Yamada
ASAI President


16th March 2011

First of all, thank you very much for a number of heartfelt messages from the members around the world. It is truly appreciated. As you have seen in the news reports, a Magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit the Tohoku region, the north area of Japan, in the afternoon of March 11th, and a greater than 10m high tsunami swept in to the coast area of the Tohoku region 15 minutes later. The Japanese government has been striving to avoid the situation getting worse, and the people in Japan are holding strong, hoping that the situation will improve.

We are facing a very difficult situation at the moment. The strong tsunami waved in to several towns and villages around the coast area of the Tohoku region, completely wiping out a number of homes, destroying people’s precious lives. The latest news says that the number of losses and people missing is expected to exceed 10,000. In addition, one of the nuclear power plants in the area of Fukushima was also affected. Despite the prominent Japanese seismic technology which is highly regarded around the world, the result was, sadly, that the tsunami overpowered its capability. Tokyo Electric Power Company together with the Japanese government has been making tremendous efforts to resolve the problem, and we are hoping with a strong faith that we will see a positive development soon.

Right now, we are also facing the shortage of electricity around the Greater Tokyo area, and as a consequence, to save power, the operation of public transportation services has been decreased, and the citizens are cooperating for the scheduled power shutdown to reduce the use of their household electricity. All over Japan, we are doing our best for the recovery of the affected areas, and I kindly ask for your support and understanding.

Luckily, the damages in Tokyo were very limited, and we are leading our normal lives after the earthquake, so I can assure you that you do not have to worry too much. However, there are a number of elderly citizens in the affected areas in Tohoku, who have lost their homes and are forced to live in the emergency shelters. Until the full recovery, a great amount of money, time and labor will be required. If you are considering about donating some money, I would highly appreciate it if you could do so via the Japanese Red Cross Society as follows:

In addition, it is worth noting that some of the members, such as Mr. Iain Stewart and Mr. Tom Schaller, are planning to put up their own works to auction and donate the profit raised. As a Japanese, I am truly touched by such generous and kind offer. There may be other members who are also considering about doing the same, and I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to you all. Thank you.

As the last remark of my note, as the President of ASAI, as a Japanese, I am very grateful for the continuous and warm support by a number of members, for the rescue teams from abroad, relief aids and medical support, just to name a few. I strongly hope and believe that we will definitely overcome this.

Masaaki Yamada
ASAI President

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