Table Speech

President’s Address

December 26, 2012

Mr. Yoshio Okazaki
President, The Rotary Club of Tokyo

 Let me say a few words for our last regular meeting in year 2012.

 I still clearly remember the first regular meeting for Rotary Year 2012 held on July 4th, with the attendance of District Governor Mr. Ishikawa, Governor Elect Mr. Yoshida, Governor Nominee Mr. Suzuki and many other Rotarians from different Clubs. It was a precious occasion to re-assure the long significant history and traditional of our Club. Thanks to the generous support by Vice-President Mr. Shimizu, Secretary Mr. Kojima, Board Directors, Officers and Chairmen as well as the Secretariat staff, I am happy to wrap up the first half of this Rotary Year.

 We have set out on our second year of the “Challenge 100 Project” that provides psychological care to mothers and children in areas recovering from the Great East Japan Earthquake. I visited the area on two occasions: firstly, for the handover ceremony of the child care house “Ayukko” constructed at Rikuzentakata city during the previous Rotary Year presided by Mr. Gemma; and secondly, when we planted dogwood trees in the garden of “Ayukko” eight months after the ceremony. I was relieved to find out how happy mothers and children were at “Ayukko.”

 We have organized various events under the Club theme of “Participate & Enjoy ROTARY.” Birthday gatherings started this July, always attended by many members. Our spouse also joined several events, including the visit to the grave of Umekichi Yoneyama, the 92nd Commemoration Meeting as well as the Christmas Family Gathering of last week with the attendance of 301.

 Extensive discussion unfolded during the first Club Forum in November with some constructive suggestions. Some new initiatives will be taken during the latter half of this Rotary Year to deepen our friendship, such as English Night and free-seating meetings.

 I am grateful for your active participation in various District events, especially to the Intercity Meeting with the record high attendance of 174 members. Many more events await next year, including the 108th Anniversary Night Meeting of Rotary International, the Dogwood-viewing Circle, the District Convention in Okinawa, the World Peace Forum in Hiroshima as well as the RI Convention in Lisbon, Portugal.

 I must say the future of Japanese economy is uncertain, with much to be done on the diplomatic and security issues. But I sincerely hope we continue to deepen our ties through Rotary activities, based on the spirit of service and friendship.

  Let me close my speech by thanking you for all your cooperation and asking for your further and continuous support throughout this Rotary Year.