Table Speech


“Address at the Final Regular Meeting for Fiscal 2007”

June 25, 2008

Mr. Kanbei Kokubu,
President,
Rotary Club of Tokyo

Mr. Shin-ichi Yoshizawa,
Secretary,
Rotary Club of Tokyo

“Address at the Final Regular Meeting for Fiscal 2007”

Mr. Kanbei Kokubu,
President,
Rotary Club of Tokyo

 It has already been one year since I took over for our former president, Mr. Miyauchi. I would like to extend my gratitude to all the members, officers, responsible directors and those in the secretariat for their warm and active cooperation.

 The theme for the years 2007-2008 set out by the current Rotary International President, Wilfred J. Wilkinson is “Rotary Shares”, and the theme set out by Mr. Asakawa, Governor of District 2580, is “Creation of a Fun and Attractive Club, Providing Service Together With Good Friends”. The theme for the Rotary Club of Tokyo is “Creation of a Circle of Friends, the Joy of Serving and Rotary Shares”.

 Entering our 88th year, the Rotary Club of Tokyo has the longest history and tradition of any club in Japan. Our membership is also the largest in Japan. Sharing love with those who need them is what it means to be a Rotarian.

 In the time between last July and today, there have been many big changes socially and economically, both within and without the country. Many incidents of fraud were uncovered and were receiving much public rebuke. The subprime loan issue in the United States has significantly impacted the global economy. The rapid rise in the price of oil and other commodities has affected overall prices worldwide.

 In the Upper House elections last July, there was a reversal of political power and a politically unstable period has ensued. The heavy damage and losses from earthquakes and typhoons in many parts of the world cannot be ignored. Even if not immediately, these issues will over time affect our future club operations, but for now we are seeing stability in operations.

 In changes in membership, there have been 22 members who left us, which includes some who passed away. Instead, 22 members entered our club. The membership has been stable. The attendance at regular meetings has been in the 70–75% range, slightly better than last year. Our financial standings remain healthy and we could achieve target set in the budget.

 In our service activities, each committee has undertaken reasonable projects and achieved steady results. The Fellowship Committee has been trying new things in the regular Family Party and Christmas Party. At the Youth Committee and International Service Committee, activities such as the support to the Tokyo Rotaract Club, acceptance and dispatch of Rotary Foundation Scholars and Yoneyama Fellows were carried out. In addition to this we sent instructors to the high schools in Tokyo, and accepted interns.

 Contributions to the Yoneyama Foundation, Rotary Foundation, World Community Service, Community Service, district landmine removal activities, and donations to disaster areas totaled $20 million and we thank all the members for their support. Rotarians act usually with the thought of “service that I can provide”, whether it is a service that is visible to the eye or not. To the members of our club, let us with a heart worthy of the “Four Way Test”, implement the four major services.

 The status of our club is determined by the dignity of the individual members. Our development is determined by each member’s passion. When you make recommendations for new members, please keep this in mind throughout the selection process. The comment made by former RI President MR. Bichai Rattakul at the past regional meeting, “to act forgetting the spirit and the ideals of the Rotary, focusing solely on increasing members, will leave a regrettable future” is the utmost truth. This issue was taken up in the Club Forum during the latter part of the term, and after deliberation by the committee, the “Items for Consideration in Recommending New Rotary Club Members” were drawn up.

 Formulating the direction for our new membership recommendations was very significant.

 Amidst the changes that are taking place around the world, it will be such a happy event if the Rotary Club of Tokyo can continue to develop actively through recommending new members, including those with different occupations. Next month marks the beginning of another new fiscal year. Again I will do my best as a Rotarian and I thank you deeply for your help over the past year.

“The Secretary’s Address at the Fiscal Year 2007 Final Regular Meeting”

Mr. Shin-ichi Yoshizawa,
Secretary,
Rotary Club of Tokyo

 Over the past one year, I, as secretary, supported the President in the management and was involved in operations of the Rotary Club of Tokyo. I deeply thank each of the members, directors and chairmen of each committee for their cooperation.

 The basic policy set forth for the year by the President was, “Creation of a Circle of Friends, the Joy of Serving and Rotary Shares”.

I operated the club over the past year under the policy of the President, who always kept in mind the need for smooth and mutual communication among the 340 members.

 I express my admiration for the masterful capabilities of the Chairman of the Program Committee who decided on the yearly program of table speeches at the stroke of the new year.

 The Fellowship Committee which put together a dance party for a particularly new event as well as the Anniversary Family Party and the Christmas Party was truly energetic.

 The tour of Nippon Television Network Corporation planned by the Vocational Service Committee was so successful and popular that additional buses were needed.

 The chairmen and members of the International Service and Community Service committees effectively processed many donation articles and donation projects.

 I had the opportunity to work on creating the circle of friends through exchanges with other clubs at many official and unofficial functions.

 The discussions on the “conduct for recommending new members” held during the Second Club Forum on April 2 during the latter part of the year saw many constructive views from the attendees. The related committees collaborated, and after many discussions formulated the “Items to Take Note in Recommending New Members” and “Flow for Recommending and/or Selecting New Members”. These rules should not be made rigid, but made progressively changeable as need arises.

 Through these tasks I felt the high level of wisdom of Tokyo Rotarians, and that I saw a side of them fittingly representative of the Rotary Club of Japan.

 These days were busy performing many tasks while maintaining the tradition and dignity of the Rotary Club of Tokyo, but I learned so much from Mr. Kokubu’s steadfast posture toward the RC. I am grateful, and consider the past year an opportunity that was given to me as the training ground for decision-making through returning to the origins of the issues at hand. .