Table Speech

“Governor’s Official Visit”

July 18, 2007

Mr. Koji Asakawa,
Governor, District 2580,
Tokyo Oji Rotary Club

 As a governor, when I visit Rotary Clubs, I always request that lectures on the vocational service be delivered with care. I would like to practice the Rotary Guiding Principle, “Engage in work with a high sense of ethics and morals as a professional, and at the same time, the jobs should be accepted by the local community and should be ones that are essential.”

 The Rotary International President, Mr. Wilfrid J Wilkinson raised the motto for this fiscal year, “Rotary Shares”. This motto is a desire for members to share their experience, expertise, and insight as an adult functioning in society to people who need them. At the same time, I think it also means to share our passionate thoughts toward peace and benevolence.

 I have chosen as this year’s objective “Have an enjoyable and attractive club life, and provide service with good friends.” I would like for members to rebuild a truly enjoyable club, utilizing the features of each Rotary Club. Enjoy fun club life at an enjoyable club, and if persons observing the sight of service activities say that they would like to join, it would be good to select eligible individuals from among such people and expand the membership. There is no need just to post to increase the number of members.

 The four major services are of primary importance for the Rotary Club and vocational service is, without a doubt, the foundation of Rotary.

 The past President, Mr. Bhichai Rattakul, who is an Asian and shares common values with us emphatically stated, “If you take away vocational service from the Rotary, what would be the difference with other volunteer organizations?” I fully agree.

 The root of Rotary’s vocational service is a high level of ethics and morals. Noblesse oblige that had been taught and enforced in the public schools in England, shares the philosophy with the Rotary. The higher the place in life, the higher the values of ethics and morals are demanded. I would like to see the importance of vocational service reaffirmed and put into practice.

 All members should participate in the Club’s service activities. I would like to see measures to achieve this. In particular, in the Youth Exchange Program, the relevant parties try their best, but there are cases where this is not recognized by other members. I would like to see efforts to improve this. I would like the relevant parties to see the consideration of mutual interaction, such as communicating the status of the visiting students to the counterpart clubs.

 In my annual duty I created three committees in the district. The first one is the Web Committee. District 2580 is a wide district that stretches to Okinawa. I pondered whether there were any good ideas and I decided to initiate a plan to enable tele-conferencing. I am also thinking of ways to supply information to clubs in the district. Currently, the lecturers and content of the speeches given in clubs in the district can be seen on the Website.

 The second one is the Legislative Proposal Examination Committee. The aim is to enable our opinions to be clearly heard by the Rotary International Rules Deliberation Committee and the like.

 In relation to newly issued rules and opinions, I would like to collect the responses and opinions of each club at the district level and have them examined at the Legislative Proposal Examination Committee.

 The third one is the Risk Management Committee. In the Youth Exchange Program, there was a sexual harassment incident overseas and Rotary International was subject to legal action in the United States. As a result of the trial, Rotary International was forced to pay $200,000 or more in compensation. On its own initiative, Japan established the risk management committee in each location, and it was collectively incorporated as an NPO. Insurance against sexual harassment and abuse was taken with casualty insurance companies.

 In a large organization, there are bound to be issues that arise, but I think that the first thing is to create a club where discussions among everyone are possible, and to enjoy a fun Rotary life. This is the Rotary Club that we aspire to.