Table Speech

President’s Address
Secretary’s Address

July 06, 2011

Mr. Akira Gemma
President, Tokyo Rotary Club
Mr. Seibun Ohta
Secretary, Tokyo Rotary Club

President’s Address

I am honored to serve as the 92nd President of the Rotary Club of Tokyo. Together with Vice President Mr. Mizuno, Secretary Mr. Ohta, Assistant Secretaries, Directors, Chairmen of the Committees and the Secretariat staff, I am determined to do my best. Let me ask for your continuous cooperation.
Tokyo RC was born on October 20th, 1920, in order to “realize the ideal of service.” The current Rotary Year 2011 is very special for us, as it marks the start of “Next 10 Years” towards our centennial anniversary. Also, our member Mr. Mizuno is the Governor of RI District 2580.
I was born in 1934 at Fuefuki City, Yamanashi Prefecture and grew up there. I came to Tokyo for my university and joined Shiseido in 1959. I became CEO in 1997 and currently serve as Advisor. During my 52-year-career at Shiseido, I joined Tokyo RC in 1992 and have engaged myself in various service activities over 19 years. Profit-making business and social service activities seem to contradict each other in nature, yet my experience proves that these two seemingly conflicting activities can be harmonized to bring reciprocal effect.
The founder of Shiseido stated: “Business is not all about money-making. It ought to pursue public interest. We must create and provide ‘larger values’ to our customers for business continuation and keep generating ‘adequate profit’ to fund future activities.” These words reflect his creed that the company is a “public institution within society,” which underlies the 140-year-history of Shiseido that balances out business and social service activities.
As we launch the “Next 10 Years” initiative, let me set the Tokyo RC basic principle to be “aiming to achieve an even better Rotary Club” through 1) our founding spirit that generates brand, vision, mission and standard, 2) respect the success of our unique identity, history, tradition, culture and pride, and 3) constantly strive to constructively develop and enhance the Rotary movement.
RI President Mr. Kalyan Banerjee set the 2011 RI theme to be “Reach Within to Embrace Humanity” and called on Rotarians to “go forth and encircle the world, to embrace humanity.”
The 2011 theme for Toyo RC will be “Practice the ideal of service for fresh joy and love.” I am convinced that our earnest pursuit of service activities, the object of Rotary, to achieve world peace and human happiness will bring fresh joy and love to all.
We will promote the following 5 priority activities: 1)Assisting Governor Mizuno for a) Challenge 100 projects that assist young generation in the Great East Japan Earthquake-stricken areas, b) RI Convention, and c) District Conference; 2) Membership development, 3) Strengthening assistance to Yoneyama Memorial Foundation, 4) Further enrich our club life, and 5) Further pursue unique “identity” of Tokyo RC.
Let me call upon you to participate in our regular meetings and various events to widen your friendship among member Rotarians with abundant experience and personality. I believe “ideal of service” will be maximized when we spare our “energy,” “material” and “time” for those in need, preferably at the actual project site.
Before closing, let me ask for your further assistance and cooperation to make steady advancement towards our centennial anniversary.

Secretary’s Address

I will serve as Secretary under President Mr. Gemma this Rotary year. At the outset, let me thank our former Secretary Mr. Kuroda and my co-Assistant Secretary Mr. Ohmori for their kind guidance and encouragement. Let me also ask Assistant Secretaries, Mr. Kojima and Mr. Kajima, for their cooperation this year.
I was born to the head family of insogaku (seal physiognomy) and succeeded the 6th head of the family. I joined the RC in February 1992, under the vocational classification of fine arts. For me, Rotary meant friendship building and enjoyment, since I met many active Rotarians when I participated in the RI Convention with my father-in-law who served as RI Director in 1997. I am also an officer of “Rotary Go (game of go) Club” established in 2000 and enjoying the national tournaments every autumn and the tournaments against South Korea and Taiwan every spring.
As President Gemma has just stated, the 2011 theme for Tokyo RC is “Practice the Ideal of Service for Fresh Joy and Love,” which, I believe, best reflects our 90 years history and tradition as well as the most appropriate theme to be addressed in this especially challenging year. We will launch various initiatives towards our centennial anniversary, under the governorship of Mr. Mizuno, our member. We also start to work on the project that assists recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake. I am determined to do my best as Secretary.
Let me enumerate our major initiatives. First, to assist Governor Mr. Mizuno, we established the Governor Support Committee with Mr. Takenaka as its Director, who will lead “Challenge 100,” “RI Convention” and “District Conference.” Members of “Challenge 100” Committee are currently discussing extensively about the new project that best encapsulates the spirit of “Rotary Clear Land” project towards our centennial anniversary. “District Conference” Committee is in charge of the Intercity Meeting (scheduled on November 9th at Hyatt Regency at Shinjuku) and the District Conference (scheduled on February 22nd, 2012, here at the Imperial Hotel). 2012 RI Convention will be held in Bangkok from 6 to 9 May. “RI Convention” Committee has already started booking the flights and hotels, in collaboration with the District, so let me call upon your active participation.
I would also like to ask for your cooperation towards membership development. Rotary Year 2011 started with 322 members with average age of 68.7 years old. Our membership is decreasing, due to the lingering economic slump, and we hope you would nominate suitable candidates for our Club.
As for the attendance rate, we are having more and more weeks with below70% attendance rate. Some clubs in Tokyo have their meetings early in the morning or in the evening, and I encourage you to strive to improve the attendance rate.
We have many exciting events ahead, including our 91st Anniversary Meeting (October 19th), Christmas Meeting and Family Party (December 14th), New Year Meeting (January 11th) and the 107th Anniversary of RI (February 15th). We invite your active participation with your family.
I am determined to do my best, and let me close my speech by asking for your continuous cooperation and guidance.