Table Speech


Official Visit by the Governor

July 22, 2015

Mr. Takashi Suzuki
Governor, RI District 2580 (Tokyo Kohoku RC)


 RI President Mr. K. R. “Ravi” Ravindran announced the theme for this RY as “Be a gift to the world” during the International Assembly in San Diego this January. The other day, I read over “The Gift of the Magi” written by a leading short-story writer O. Henry. The story is about a poor young couple, Jim and Della, who both gave up their most prized possessions to buy a Christmas present for the beloved. O. Henry wrote “of all who give gifts these two were the wisest” at the end of his story. I found this spirit of sacrificing the most valuable thing to give something to others underlies the theme of President Ravi. Let me call upon you to share this spirit as you engage in various activities.

 President Ravi enumerated four principles. First is to increase membership, but I understand 70 Clubs in our District are already working hard. So let me encourage you to keep making efforts to broaden friendship.

 Second principle is the Future Vision Plan implemented by RI from 2010-2013. Being among the 100 Districts selected out of 534 applications, we will continue the initiative which entered its third year. President Ravi is determined to eradicate Polio by 2018 and is asking for continuous support. Currently we work in Bangladesh and Pakistan, while we await the declaration by WHO for Nigeria to be polio-free.

 To formulate a strategic plan based on our core values is the third principle. It comprises of four activities: support and strengthen clubs; focus and increase humanitarian services; enhance public image and awareness of Rotary; and utilize DLP (District Leadership Plan) and CLP (Club Leadership Plan).

 President Ravi also plans to tap into the resources Rotary has. One is human resources. I hope we collaborate with the regional leaders, including Rotary coordinators and Regional Rotary Foundation coordinators, who have expressed their willingness to work for RCs in Japan. Rotarians within the District are also a precious source of talent and you are encouraged to share and exchange information by making table speeches at other Clubs. We can also deepen friendship with the younger generation through interacting with various programs including Youth Exchange, Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and Yoneyama scholars. I also encourage you to utilize the online tool by registering with My-Rotary.

 Now, let me set out the action plan for this RY. The District goal is “Friendship Building and Service.” I believe our Regular Meeting plays an instrumental role. The establishment of E-Club is promoted also in Japan and there are seven Clubs in Tokyo (District 2750) with over 500 memberships now, but there is none in our District 2580 to date. I believe Rotarians can deepen friendship by meeting in person and working together for various service activities. Let me also encourage your active participation in our two-day District Conference scheduled next February to be convened under the theme of “Giving Shape to Vocational Service --- Oedo Nihonbashi and Asakusa.”

 I also seek your understanding and support to the Yoneyama Scholarship Program. We currently host 32 scholars and plan to select 40 this October for the following RY. The number of scholars is based on the funds raised during the previous year, so let me ask for your continuous and generous support. Former Yoneyama scholars are experts in various fields with successful careers. We have Yoneyama Alumni Association in Tokyo, so please extend your support to them. The Yoneyama Umekichi Memorial Hall in Mishima was renovated in 1998 with 350 million yen, covered by donations from Rotarians and loans. I would be grateful for your continuous contribution of 100 yen each to support the Hall.

 I have established four Special Committees. One is the Japan-Taiwan Friendship Committee and another is the Japan-Korea RI Goodwill Conference. There are various events scheduled to deepen friendship with the two countries. Please participate in the Japan–Taiwan Friendship Conference to be held in Kanazawa on June 5th, 2016. On September 4th, the Japan-Korea RI Goodwill Conference will be held at Shin Takanawa Prince Hotel. We also plan to boost our support to the RI Convention to be held in Seoul from May 28th to June 1st, 2016.

 Rotary Wind of Hope Scholarship is an educational support program provided to about 200 students orphaned by the Great East Japan Earthquake. We have secured financial contributions from 13 Districts out of 34 in Japan and the financial resources have reached 600 million yen to fund the scholarships paid every month up to four years. We hope the Special Committee will work on the remaining 21 Districts to seek their understanding and support by providing extensive information on the program.

 Please also note that a Special Committee to support the Baguio Fund has been established. I think not much is known about this Fund and the Committee Chairman is happy to provide details on its activities and future plans.
 We are still in the third week of this RY. I look forward to various initiatives to being implemented by Tokyo RC and to provide full support as the District.