Table Speech


“Yoneyama Month” Meeting
“Yoneyama Scholarship Foundation”

“Meeting with Japan and dream of my future”

October 3, 2007

Mr. Hisaatsu Shimazu (Miyakonojyo Rotary Club),
Honorary President of Rotary Yoneyama Scholarship Foundation,
President of Shimazu Sanrin Co. Ltd.

 I am Hisaatsu Shimazu from Miyakonojyo Rotary Club. As of August 30th of this year, I retired from President of Yoneyama Scholarship Foundation and became Honorary President of the Foundation. I wish to thank you for the large amount of donation made on the 40th anniversary of Yonayama Foundation.
I worked as President of Yonayama Foundation for six years and retired this year. I will become 90 years old soon and my condition will not allow me to continue as President.

 As you know, Yoneyama Foundation was started by Tokyo Rotary Club in order to commemorate the great accomplishment of Mr. Umekichi Yoneyama in 1954. It happened to be the year I joined Rotary Club. It spread to all over Japan to become a very large organization.

 Mr. Seiichi Kajima, President of Tokyo Rotary Club before the war, Mr. Tomotake Tejima, Mr. Masakazu Kobayashi and many other people encouraged me to do the job.

 When it started, scholarship was given to only one student from Thailand but total of 14,000 scholarships were given to the students up to now. The Yoneyama Scholarship became a large project covering not only Asia but also covering all over the world.

 In 1957, the Scholarship became a scholarship of all of the Rotary clubs in Japan, called Rotary Yoneyama Scholarship Foundation and it spread out widely.
I was Governor of Kyushu District, 1965-66 and I was asked by Mr. Kanbei Kokubu, President of Tokyo Rotary Club in 1967, to spread the activities of Yoneyama Foundation in Kyushu area. Since then I was very much involved in Yonayama Foundation. Today I attended the meeting of Tokyo Rotary Club and I found out that President of the Club is Mr. Kokubu, who is the son of Mr. Kokubu. It is a very interesting coincidence.

 40 years ago, Yonyama Foundation was approved as a Zaidan Hojin and Mr. Kyozo Yuasa of Tokyo Rotary Club became the first President and he gave me his kind guidance. Second President was Mr. Suenaga of Fukuoka Rotary Club and I became the third President after him.

 When Yoneyama Foundation started, Ms. Sachiko Nango of Secretariat of Tokyo Rotary Club helped us a lot. This year, a symposium to send more students to Japan by Yoneyama Foundation was held in Taiwan and Ms. Nango was invited to attend and she participated the symposium very actively.

 When Tokyo Rotary Club started this project, Mr Somchard Ratanachata of Thailand received the Scholarship and Mr. Bhichai Rattakul, who was President of Rotary International, a few years ago, highly respected Mr. Yoneyama and visited the grave of Mr. Yoneyama in Mishima taking a long trip from Tokyo.

 Yoneyama Foundation developed as a unique system of Japan. There is no other scholarship foundation as large as Yoneyama in the world. Because of this unique system, it developed somewhat away from the policy of Rotary International.

 According to the manual of procedures of Rotary International, a joint project of plural Districts has to be approved by the two thirds of the Clubs of each District concerned. Also it has to be under the direct supervision of the Governor. Furthermore

 The Governor has to seek the approval of Secretary General of Rotary International and only after his approval, the project is considered to be a project under RI. Somehow Yoneyama Scholarship project proceeded as a Japanese project, without obtaining the approval of RI.

 Presidents of RI sometimes praised Yoneyama Scholarship but Secretariat of RI never recognized Yoneyama Scholarship. Therefore international conferences nor Zone study never discussed Yoneyama Scholarship. The use of RI emblem by Yoneyama Scholarship never being approved.

 I do not know why above situation was created but this situation existed for a while.

 Yoneyama Foundation gave scholarship to about 14,000 overseas students up to now and is the largest scholarship fund in Japan giving to about 800 overseas students every year at present. But the Foundation did not have authorization of RI.

 Last year, however, the Foundation received authorization of RI and was taken up at the Zone meetings.

 Capital of Yoneyama Foundation is 5,000,000,000 yen and the donation received for the current year will be used as scholarship for that year. The donation is decreasing but it amounts to about 1,400,000,000 yen for a year.

 I believe that Yoneyama Foundation contributes greatly to international activities.

 Furthermore very unique characteristics of Yoneyama Scholarship is the system by which each sponsor club will look after the student and a counselor will be appointed to look after the student and give advice and help as needed.

 I know it is a lot of work for the sponsor club and for the counselor but it is a very unique system of Yoneyama Foundation and we should be very much proud of it.

 I wish to ask Tokyo Rotary Club where Yoneyama Scholarship Foundation started and other Rotary Clubs all over Japan to support this project strongly hereafter.

“Yoneyama Month” Meeting
“Meeting with Japan and dream of my future”

Mr. Tang Tao,
Yoneyama Scholar,
Graduate School of Tokyo Medical and Dental University

 My relationship with Japan started ten years ago. After graduated from the university, I was working as a doctor specializing the treatment of professional sportsmen at surgical department of a hospital at Unnan Province of China. I was in charge of the marathon runners from Japan. But I could not get satisfactory result of the treatment of those athletes because of the difference of customs and languages. Therefore I decided to study in Japan in order to have more international view point. This is my meeting with Japan.

 I became Yonayama Scholar starting April this year and I am very much honored. Thanks to the Yoneyama Scholarship, my life became stable and I can now concentrate to my study and research. Yoneyama Scholarship not only financially stabilized my living but also gave me spiritual support. By attending regular meetings of Rotary Club every month, I could meet gentlemen who are leading Japan in culture and business. I am impressed by the spirit of service of Rotarians and I wish to become a man to serve the society having the spirit of consideration and service to other people.

 The treatment of knee by internal mirror which I am studying at Tokyo Medical and Dental University is in the top level of the world.

 My dream of the future is to open an international sports hospital utilizing my experience in China combined with technology I studied in Japan.

 I wish to deeply thank to the members of Tokyo Rotary Club especially to Mr. Furukawa who was my counselor.