From The Editors

Back to Contents of Issue: February 2004

The Editor's page

by The Editors

Just the other day a nursing home resident here in New York leaned towards me and confided through the bedside gauze: "If I make it through February, I'll live another year." I knew exactly what she meant.

So here's to that pivotal month at the cusp of spring and the close of winter, but not quite settled in either one. We're making it through with the aid of some excellent February features.

Chief contributing writer Leo Lewis brings us two exclusives from some very hard industries. In our cover story, Lewis joins the father and sister of Lucille Blackman -- the young English hostess whose abduction and brutal murder shocked the world only two years ago -- as they revisit Japan for the first time since the crime.

Blackman's father, Tim, grants Lewis intimate access to his feelings as he muses on the family's loss and confronts the accused killer in the courtroom for the first time. Lewis presses further to unveil a Roppongi that is even more dangerous today -- and teeming with ripe young Lucies looking for work.

In his second feature, Lewis interviews the president and CEO of JFE -- the world's largest and most powerful steel manufacturer. With the Bush administration turnaround on tariffs at the end of 2003 (part of its diplomatic dance over troop deployment), Japanese steel manufacturers are poised to crush the competition by honing in on China with advanced technologies. "I don't respect anyone," CEO Shimogaichi tells Lewis. "There is no point."

-- The Editors

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