Table Speech

President’s Address

July 4, 2018

Mr. Taito Yamamoto
President, Rotary Club of Tokyo

 I am honored to serve as the 99th President of Tokyo Rotary Club. I joined this Club in 1989 at the age of 41 as the third-generation Rotarian. As my grandfather and father were both dedicated members, I am filled with fond memories of the Christmas party and quality time we had with exchange students from around the world. My duties as a Rotarian ranged from Fellowship, song leader, Club Secretary to District Secretary, following the Rotary principle of not to reject any duties offered to you. When different members come forward to undertake the duty for each Rotary Year, the organization will have the flexibility that allows a smooth operation just like a rotary engine. Looking back on my experience, I could meet many people and learn from them through all the different duties I have undertaken.

 Tokyo RC will celebrate its centennial anniversary in two years. Under the basic theme of “PARTICIPATE to go back to basics and look to the future!” let us all learn from our founding father Mr. Paul Harris who went around different companies and deepened friendship amidst the social unrest triggered by the economic crisis in the U.S.A. back in the early 1900s. Coupled with the ideal of service activities, the Rotary movement gained momentum to spread throughout the world, based on vocational service ideals and later expanded into the five Avenues of Service.

 Here in Japan, I believe the business ethics of frugality, honesty, integrity and customer-first mindset fostered by the merchants in Ise and Omi underlie our vocational values. Japan underwent a turbulent transformation to modernization through the Meiji era and fought four wars, yet such values continue to underpin our work ethics today. Rotary activities were initiated here in Japan by Umekichi Yoneyama in 1920 and spread throughout the country to achieve a total membership of 90,000. The Rotary spirit attracts and synchronizes with the minds of so many professionals. Towards our centennial anniversary, let us deepen our understanding on the significance of vocational services, fellowship and friendship and also identify how best we can serve in the age of IoT and AI. Being the first RC established in Japan, we must serve as a trailblazer.

 I set the Club Theme for this RY as “Join Together to Create Wisdom” and encourage you all to elaborate on 1) how to enhance exchanges and collaboration in the coming years, 2) the future direction of the five Avenues of Service, and 3) initiatives to be taken by Tokyo RC that follows the anti-personnel landmine removal “Clear Land” Initiative and the “Tohoku Sukusuku Project”. Let me emphasize that we can push all the Rotary activities forward only through your active participation. Let’s Participate! to make Tokyo RC an energetic and attractive club. Thank you.

Secretary’s Address

July 4, 2018

Mr. Noboru Matsuoka
Secretary, Rotary Club of Tokyo

   I am honored to serve as Secretary for RY 2018-2019. Thanks to Mr. Satoshi Ohoka, Secretary of the last RY, I learnt many lessons on how to support our President and to run the club operations effectively. I will exert all efforts in my capacity as Secretary and seek your continuous support and understanding.

 I became a Rotarian in 2003, the year when Mr. Yamamoto served as Secretary. I feel it is a curious coincidence to support President Yamamoto this year. Having been a Rotarian over 15 years, I must admit there remains so much to learn and I somewhat feel overwhelmed to carry out important duties for Tokyo RC with a long tradition and prestige. I recall how Tokyo RC caught the great attention from members of other RCs across Japan when I participated in the RI Convention in Osaka back in 2004.

 RI President Barry Rassin has set the theme “Be the Inspiration” and calls upon Rotarians to bring forward positive sustainable changes. District 2580 Governor Mr. Matsusaka is focusing on “training and activation” to reinvigorate Rotary activities towards the future. Our Club Theme for this RY is “Join Together to Create Wisdom” and we will accelerate preparations for our centennial anniversary with Mr. Yoshizawa as Director and Mr. Chikanami as Chairman to spearhead the Centennial Anniversary Committee. I am happy to start this RY with 334 members, thanks to your cooperation during the last RY that halted a decline in our membership. I hope we can build on the momentum and achieve a net increase of 2 members. We also need to keep working on improving the attendance rate.

 We have many events planned to deepen our friendship, including birthday parties, a Christmas party and family parties to commemorate Tokyo RC and RI anniversaries. We hope to get your active participation together with your family and friends.

   As for District activities, the Central Sub-District Intercity Meeting will be held on November 15th and the annual District Conference on February 2nd next year. Let me also call your attention to the RI Convention to be held in Hamburg, Germany next June. Your attendance means a lot for these important events. As I conclude my speech, let me once again ask for your generous support and guidance throughout this RY. Thank you.