Table Speech

President's Address

December 21, 2011

Mr. Akira Gemma
President, Tokyo Rotary Club

 The Rotary Club of Tokyo has implemented various service activities during the first half of Rotary Year 2011, under the theme of “Reach Within to Embrace Humanity ” advocated by RI President Kalyan Barnerjee and based on our District Governor Mizuno’s vision “simple but substantial.” Our Committees have played an active role to achieve our Club theme “Practice the ideal of service for fresh joy and love.” Now let me highlight our main activities of the first half year.

1.Assisting Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake
 Based on the extensive discussions by the Challenge 100 Committee, we have identified the initiative to assist mothers and children at disaster-stricken areas as our “Challenge 100 Project” and will commit ourselves actively towards our centennial anniversary.

 As its first step, we will implement the “Tokyo Rotary Sukusuku (Mother and Child Care) Project” during this Rotary Year and rebuild the “Child Support Center” which was washed away by the extensive damage the tsunami caused in Rikuzentakata City.

 This project budget totals 21 million yen, of which 11 million yen will come from the Rotary Japan Disaster Recovery Fund Grants and 10 million yen from Tokyo Rotary Club, including 2,159,352 yen of donations from the Ardmore RC in the US.

 We plan to provide continuous assistance to mothers and children during the coming Rotary Years, in collaboration with Rotary Clubs at the disaster-stricken areas as well as Clubs outside Japan.

2.Intercity Meeting
 Director Takenaka made the presentation on the “Tokyo Rotary Sukusuku Project” during the Intercity Meeting held on November 9th and received a warm support. I believe that the presence of our Club has become stronger. I do appreciate wider approval from Clubs in our District.

3.Community Service Assistance Activities
 The Community Service Committee identified 4 social welfare corporations to be assisted and directly handed them the donation funds, which were received with sincere gratitude.

4.Membership Development
 Thanks to the streamlining of the Committee and registration procedures, we were able to welcome 17 new members during the first half of Rotary Year 2011.

 Let me express my sincere gratitude to all the Committees for your dedicated service activities which enabled us to enjoy our active Club life, including wide-ranging insightful table speeches and family parties.

 Looking back on this year, we have suffered from numerous natural disasters throughout the world, including earthquakes in New Zealand and Turkey or floods in Thailand. The Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11 caused unprecedented damages and we have gone through a national crisis.

 In such a critical situation, earthquake victims behaved with calmness and discipline. The Japanese displayed national solidarity over this crisis and was admired by countries around the world. We realized, anew, that communities did remain in Japan, where people work in collaboration to overcome difficulties. Many young volunteers devoted themselves to reconstruct the disaster-hit areas, which exemplified the significance of service activities. I see a gleam of hope in the future of Japan.

 Year 2011 was the “year of national crisis” in Japan and also a major turning point to reconsider the future course we shall take. I am determined to commit myself to make Tokyo Rotary Club an even better Club. Let me conclude by asking for your further support and cooperation. Thank you.