Table Speech

President’s Address at the Last Regular Meeting for RY 2017-2018

June 27, 2018

Mr. Tomijiro Morita
President, Rotary Club of Tokyo

 At the outset, let me express my sincere gratitude to all of you who have made this RY another successful and fruitful one. I can say Rotary activities are at a major turning point as rightly reflected in this year’s RI theme “Rotary Making a Difference”. The 2016 Council on Legislation approved to give greater flexibility to each club regarding eligibility qualifications and attendance requirements. It was because Rotary had to update its systems to meet changing needs of the world. RI membership around the world has hovered around 1.2 million for 20 years, whereas here in Japan, membership peaked in 1997 at 131,700 and has decreased by 32% to mark 89,700 in RY 2016. Such decline was triggered by the collapse of the bubble economy in the 1990s, followed by the decrease in productive-age population since 1996 which had adverse impact on businesses especially in regional cities. The future outlook is not promising either as both the younger and productive-age population is projected to keep decreasing over several decades and will weigh on economic growth. In such a context, I have set the Club theme for this RY to be “Hand in Hand” with the belief that we can reinvigorate growth and revitalize society by reinforcing connections among people and companies. To be more specific, we have worked on membership development and improvement of the attendance rate. Thanks to your cooperation, we have achieved the target of net increase of 2 members. Let me encourage you to further improve attendance at our regular meetings which are renowned for its excellent choice of table speech makers.

 As we approach our Centennial Anniversary in 2020, let me highlight the significant achievement made by the Challenge 100 Committee in implementing the 10-year Tohoku Sukusuku Project in areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The Project has expanded from the Child Care Center Ayukko established in Rikuzen-Takata City to Sukusuku House in Kesennuma City that utilized the Global Grant of Rotary Foundation. The House concluded its activities this March when it was merged with a new children’s center in the City and entered a new phase. Our support to the Challenge 100 activities will run up to RY 2020.

 Being the very first Club in Japan, the Tokyo RC will continue to play an instrumental role in disseminating the spirit of vocational service and social service, ensuring the basic principles of friendship and generosity while meeting the changing needs of the times. As I close my speech, let me reiterate my sincere gratitude for all your generous support and wish for further development and success of our Club in the coming RY with Mr. Yamamoto as our new President. Thank you.

Secretary’s Address

June 27, 2018

Mr. Satoshi Ohoka
Secretary, Rotary Club of Tokyo

 As we conclude RY 2017-2018, let me report on our initiatives and activities and express my sincere gratitude to all the officers, directors, chairmen and each one of you for your generous support.

 Under this year’s Club theme of “Hand in Hand,” we have focused on membership development and improvement of the attendance rate. We started this RY with 328 members and set the goal of net increase of 2. I am delighted to report that we have achieved one of the highest net increases since 2008 and membership is forecasted to exceed 333 by the end of this RY. The attendance rate marked a 5-percent increase of 58% at home and 65% after makeup. Following extensive discussions at the Club Forum and the Attendance Committee, we decided to 1) create and distribute leaflets that highlight the importance of attendance and makeup, 2) promote good attendance among new members through sponsors, 3) encourage enrollment and participation in committee activities to be counted as makeup, and 4) consult with members with low attendance rates.

 As we celebrate our Centennial Anniversary in 2020, various preparations are well underway. Our 10-year Tohoku Sukusuku Project has made steady progress in Kesennuma and Rikuzen-Takata Cities and the Kesennuma Sukusuku House was merged with a new children’s center and the local municipality took over its management.

 We had excellent speakers to our regular meetings, including Ambassadors of Venezuela, Australia and the U.S.A. who gave a broad international perspective. Our member Rotarians also joined the Japan-Taiwan Rotary Friendship Conference held in Taiwan and the RI Convention in Toronto, Canada. In the District, we had the annual Conference in February and the Central Sub-District Intercity Meeting last November where more than 100 members registered.

 As I look back on this RY serving as Secretary, I realize that so many Rotarians have been working relentlessly to make Tokyo RC even better. I am convinced that tireless efforts of our member Rotarians have made us what we are today and will also shape the future of our Club. Let me quote the words by a CEO of a global company in New York that celebrated its 200th Anniversary: “We’re not good because we’re old, we are old because we’re good”. Let us all work together to make Tokyo RC a good club for many more years to come. Thank you all for your generous support throughout this year.