Table Speech

“The President’s Address”

December 26, 2007

Mr. Kanbei Kokubu
President of Tokyo Rotary Club

 We live in a highly mature society. The population of Japan, has now reached its peak last year at 127.7 million, and will follow a yearly declining trend from now on. On the other hand, the population of the world, is currently at 6.5 billion, and is expected to drastically increase at an annual rate of 12%, which is estimated to be 60 million people per year. In addition, the world population is estimated to reach 9 to 10 billion by the middle of the century. Despite the dynamic global growth, Japan’s population is unfortunately estimated to decrease to about 100 million in contrast.

 When the Rotary Club (RC) was established about a century ago, the world’s total population was estimated to be about 2 billion. This means there has been a major increase of about 4.5 billion during the past one hundred years.

 However, the earth’s resources have their limitations. As such, the exponential population growth and rising living standards are consequentially disturbing the balance of supply and demand of the earth’s resources, and we can surely expect this to lead to a global surge in their prices.

 On the other hand, it has been announced that Japan’s self-sufficiency rate for food, based on calories, is merely at 39%. On a global level, we can expect further conflicts to arise in the following three areas:
1. The conflict between nations over food supply and agricultural products
2. The conflict between the demand for food production and energy fields
3. The conflict over land and water between the agricultural and industrial fields.

 The theme established this year by the Chairman of Rotary International is “ROTARY SHARES”. The relevance of this theme will have even greater importance in the future. We, too, shall also practice the theme, “ROTARY SHARES”, through our services to society.

 The year 2007 is idling to an end in just a few days. Already, it has been six months since I assumed the role of President of the Rotary Club of Tokyo. While time has flown by very quickly just by simply following the course of programs and scenarios as scheduled, I am extremely happy and content that we have been able to complete all our activities without any major issues.

 Thanks to the outstanding work of our members in the various committees and their volunteer activities, in our club forum, and in uniting and strengthening our membership, the past 6 months have been memorable and fruitful, even though we did not host any particular special events. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the gracious efforts of our officers and the cooperation of all members.

 In the forthcoming year, it is my intention to continue practicing the “The 4-Way Test” at all times, dedicate myself to vocational service as a Rotarian, and fulfill serving my duties as President. In closing, allow me to end this address by wishing the forthcoming year ahead to be a wonderful year for all. Thank you very much.