Table Speech

”Rotary Awareness Month” Meeting
Let Us Enjoy Rotary

ary 15, 2014

Mr. Masato Mizuno
RI D2580 Past Governor
Past President, The Rotary Club of Tokyo

 At the outset, let me express my sincere gratitude to your tremendous support that made Tokyo win the bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

 We concluded our bidding campaign in great success on September 7th last year at Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 45-minute final presentation made on the first day of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session was the fruit of our team work, based on the themes of “amazement” and “sensation.”

 Princess Takamado took the podium and expressed her gratitude for all the assistance given by the sporting world soon after the Great East Japan Earthquake. She also paid her respects to IOC members for enhancing the Olympic movement, first in French and then in English.

 Ms. Mami Sato, the paralympian, told her personal story of how sport made her overcome hardships of losing her leg to cancer and surviving the Earthquake. Other speakers included the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) President Mr. Tsunekazu Takeda, I myself, Governor of Tokyo Mr. Naoki Inose, our bid ambassador Ms. Christel Takigawa, the Olympic medalist for fencing Mr. Yuki Ota, and Prime Minister Abe who assured the world that the Japanese government would take responsible measures in solving the Fukushima nuclear crisis. Mr. Takeda concluded the presentation by making a direct appeal to “Vote for TOKYO.”

 Tokyo beat Istanbul in the second round of voting. When the IOC President Mr. Rogge announced “TOKYO” at 5:20 in the morning Japan time, I was much relieved and filled with a tremendous sense of gratitude to those who had worked with me and supported us. I was later told that Tokyo won 42 votes in the first round, while Istanbul and Madrid won 26 votes each. In the second round, Tokyo got 60 votes and won an overwhelming victory.

 JOC embarked on the bid campaign eight years ago, hoping to host the games once again in Tokyo after 50 years from the 1964 Games. Unfortunately, we lost the bid to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Games. Immediately after this defeat, JOC established the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee and I served as the CEO to gear up our campaign towards the 2020 Games. The devastating Earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011 caused us much anxiety, yet the JOC Executive Board decided to bid for the Games in July and we submitted our application in September that year.

 Let me share with you the six elements that I believe brought us victory: Firstly, we elaborated on our “Candidature File,” after making amendments to some outstanding issues identified in the 2016 File. Secondly, we worked to win strong support from the citizens of Tokyo and throughout Japan. Thanks to the wide-spread support we gained from the business world, including the Keidanren (Japan Federation of Economic Organizations), the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japan Association of Corporate Executives, the Rotary Clubs and other business groups, the support rate jumped from 47% in April 2012 to an overwhelming 92% by August 2013. The third element was to enhance our promotional activity both in and out of Japan to get wide-range understanding. Fourthly, we made extensive preparations to receive 15 members from the Evaluation Commission, who received intensive briefings on the Olympic project in the morning, followed by on-site inspection tours in the afternoon over three days in Tokyo. The fifth element was to elaborate on our presentations. We made three technical presentations in Lausanne on the management of the Games and the final presentation in September. The official language of the IOC is French, so we tried to make some parts of the presentations in French. We tailored the content to the target audience and objectives and went through extensive rehearsals to make them appealing. The last element was our strong lobbying campaigns. Thanks to the support by the Education Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we captured all opportunities to reach out to every single IOC member eligible to vote and conveyed our enthusiasm. We analyzed their voting trend that is affected by nationality, language, age, culture, religion and liking. We also approached the sporting circles, the industrial arena and even personal friends of the members. Thanks to excellent team work, based on clear-cut goals, good coordination and efficient backup systems, we achieved an all-out victory.

 Rotary activities are also based on team work and Rotarians volunteer to undertake various duties on a yearly basis. When I served as President for Rotary Year 2004-2005 and Governor for the Year 2011-12, I was given full-fledged support and backup from the Vice President, Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries that enabled me to complete my terms.

 Rotarians are talented in many different fields and have an extensive knowledge on the guiding principles of the Club and enthusiasm to implement service activities. We must not overlook the fact that membership is decreasing both in the US and Japan. It is time to review and revise the way we manage our Club so that we can adjust to the changes in the national and international environment. Each Rotarian is expected to take a proactive action in Rotary activities and accommodate him/her self to the changes.

 Let me encourage Rotarians who serve as leaders to get your member Rotarians involved and make the activities even more fruitful, valuable and above all, enjoyable. I believe this is the key to attract many members. We have only one life to live. How to make it meaningful depends on each one of us. So let us all enjoy Rotary.