Table Speech

President’s Address

July 6, 2016

Mr. Takehiko Okamoto
President, Rotary Club of Tokyo

 I joined the Rotary Club of Tokyo in 1989, sponsored by the late Mr. Ogasawara and my high school and university classmate Mr. Okazaki. I have undertaken different responsibilities during the past 27 years, supported by your kind guidance and cooperation. When I turned 70, I retired from my business and hoped to enjoy myself with golfing and travelling. One day, I bumped into the then President Mr. Mibu at the golf club. He told me out of the blue “Mr. Okamoto, you are to take over the Presidency from Mr. Moroto in two years.” Although I was all too aware of the Rotary rule that we should not decline the offer, I tried to turn down his proposal in vain.

 To be honest, I had never thought deeply about Rotary for 26 years. I borrowed several books from the Secretariat about the founder of Rotary, Mr. Paul Harris, and about Mr. Umekichi Yoneyama who launched the Rotary movement in Japan. As I came to deepen my understanding, I realized anew the Rotary songs we sing at our regular meetings demonstrate exactly the Rotarians’ code of behavior.

 Mr. John F. Germ from Chattanooga RC, Tennessee, USA, is the 2016-2017 RI President. He set the Presidential theme “Rotary Serving Humanity” and encouraged Rotarians around the world to render “even more ambitious service.” Mr. Shoji Kamiyama from Musashino Chuo RC is our District Governor. He focuses on “training and fellowship” and encourages us to have a better understanding on Rotary and also among fellow Rotarians.

 As President of RY 2016-2017, I wish to share the same slogan “Enjoy Rotary” from last Year. I learnt that Mr. Ueda first came up with this casual and simple phrase and I like it very much. Let me emphasize we must work towards membership development as the number of Rotarians across the world keeps declining. Also here in District 2580, we lost as many as 1,000 members in 15 years. Membership of Tokyo RC peaked 23 years ago at 384 and has since declined to 328 today. We aim to achieve a net increase of 2 by the end of this RY.

 Let me also highlight our Club will be hosting the Intercity Meeting to be held on 01 March, 2017. The Preparatory Committee has already been set up to make preparations. Please note that your active participation would be much appreciated.

 We have been operating the child care support facility “Kesennuma Sukusuku House” in Miyagi Prefecture, utilizing the Global Grant of Rotary Foundation. We are currently negotiating with Kesennuma City for them to continue this excellent project after the grant terminates in June 2017. We are also making arrangements for our Centennial Anniversary in 2020 and I hope the preparation goes smoothly this Year. I am determined to work hard and implement various activities while I also try to “Enjoy Rotary.” Thank you.

Secretary’s Address

July 6, 2016

Mr. Ryutaro Ozeki
Secretary, Rotary Club of Tokyo

 I will serve as Secretary under the Presidency of Mr. Okamoto for Rotary Year 2016-2017. I joined the Rotary Club of Tokyo in 2004, sponsored by Mr. Igarashi and Mr. Hashimoto. I feel most grateful to the generous guidance rendered by respectable senior Rotarians during the past 12 years at this Club with tradition and dignity.

 President Okamoto just shared the priority initiatives of RI, our District and Club for this RY. The first point to note is the re-adoption of the slogan “Enjoy Rotary.” President Okamoto believes we should “go back to the basics of Rotary.” I also believe various service activities are based on active, casual and enjoyable “participation” by our members. Many senior Rotarians repeatedly remark how they have been inspired by admirable members of this Club through different social occasions, including our regular meetings and family parties. I will work hard with responsible Committee members to organize enjoyable activities, also for our family members, so that we can deepen our friendship.

 The second point President Okamoto raised was “membership development.” As we all know, membership keeps decreasing across the world and Japan is no exception. Our Club aimed for a net increase of 2 members and achieved double the target of 4 during last Year, thanks to your cooperation. We start this Year with 328 members and set the same goal with a net increase of 2. Let me ask for your continuous support.

 Our third priority initiative is hosting the Intercity Meeting scheduled on 01 March, 2017. We hope every member will register and participate. Please also note your contribution to the Rotary Foundation will be raised from 120 dollars to 150 dollars per member this year, responding to the request by the District Rotary Foundation Committee.

 The fourth point is the “Tohoku Sukusuku Project” implemented by our Challenge 100 Committee, scheduled to complete in fall 2020 when our Club will celebrate its Centennial Anniversary. The Global Grant allocation to Kesennuma Sukusuku House will terminate in June 2017 and we are currently in negotiation with the local municipality to hand over its operation and management.

 The last point is our preparations for the Centennial Anniversary in 2020. The Pre-Centennial Committee launched in RY 2014 has been making various plans and we are to enter the preparatory phase from next year.

 We have an extensive agenda ahead of us and I would like to ask for your generous support and cooperation. I am determined to work hard to make this Rotary Year a fruitful one. Thank you.