Table Speech

Year End Talk

December 28th, 2005

Mr. Mutsuo Nagashima

 Today is the final regular meeting of 2005. Taking over the gavel from former President Mizuno, I became the president, being anxious if I can be up to this role. Then a half-year already passed, and today I am here thanks to the kind cooperation of not only President Miyauchi, Vice President Nara, and Secretary Asano, but also other directors and officers, and pertinent management by the secretariat. I sincerely appreciate all of them.

 In fiscal 2005, we stepped out for a new era after the glorious centennial anniversary of RI.

 The situation of world politics, economy and society is dramatically changing from time to time, and in this environment Rotarians are asked how they should be. And now we Rotarians reached the day to get back to the basics of RI’s foundation, think deeply, and act for ourselves.

 President Stenhammar of RI said, “We would like to begin to write the first page of the second new 100 years’ history with Rotarians in the world,” and he remarked, “A new wind is blowing to the Rotary that is called ‘continuity’. It is essential for each Rotarian to act toward the ideal of service, and in always the same direction.”

 The definition of Rotary is written in the Rotary’s ABCs: “Rotary is a group which encourages humanitarian services and high ethical standards in every business and profession, which aims to contribute to the establishment of goodwill and peace in the world, and in which business and professional leaders are united globally.” I think this definition is perfect, and we have to practice it getting back to the basics.

 By the way, the phenomena and incidents that happened around us in recent years are truly unimaginable ones. Hearing of news reports, I always grieve over those and sometimes speak angrily to the TV.

 Although the Japanese economy is recovering and politics seem to change, we cannot get a clue to the direction of the nation and the people, especially children’s future.

 Once in Japan, the general understanding of the relation between organization and individuals was “one for all.” Then it took a long time for us to reach the understanding that “all for one” means to value the independence of individuals, due to the establishment of individuality. It seems to be the balance between “all” and “one” to make a society progress and develop rightly. However, phenomena that indicate “establishment of individuality” are still “establishment of egotism” are found in Japan. Don’t you think the recent phenomena and incidents back it up?

 In such a situation, what and how should we do as Rotarians? In this condition, I think, the Rotary Club of Tokyo should have awareness and pride as the pioneer of Japanese Rotary clubs, get back to the basics, bring out its excellence, promote friendship among the members with its motto “from acquaintance to friend,” and go forward to the ideal of service.

 We, the directors and officials, would like to make efforts to let you build your smooth club-lives. So, we look forward to your continued cooperation in the next year.

 Lastly, I wish you the members of the Rotary Club of Tokyo a happy and hopeful new year with your families.