Table Speech

President’s Address

December 26, 2018

Mr. Taito Yamamoto
President, Rotary Club of Tokyo

 As we approach the end of the year 2018, let me say a few words to wrap up the first half of this Rotary Year. As we know, multiple natural disasters hit Japan this year, including torrential rains in western Japan and life-threatening heat waves, caused by the climate change. When we consider the global economy, protectionism prevailed and the economic climate looks confusing and obscure, due to multiple factors such as intensifying US-China trade war, withdrawal of UK from the EU and fluctuating stock prices and interest rates.

 Against such a backdrop, Tokyo RC stipulated its project plan for RY 2018-2019 through extensive discussions with the Directors, taking due account of its Centennial Anniversary to take place in 2 years. The plan centers on three themes: 1) today’s meaningful vocational services, 2) today’s valuable exchange initiatives, and 3) decade-long service activities of Tokyo RC to roll out in 2020. We understand Rotarians worldwide focus on the guiding principles we will adopt that will set the course of our Club from its centennial milestone onwards.

 Let me highlight a few initiatives taken by our Committees to date. The Program Committee has organized table speeches presented by insightful speakers from different walks of life with valuable experiences and expertise to share. We also enjoyed our visit to Enoshima Aquarium organized by the Vocational Service Committee and were inspired by the enthusiasm of the young generation for ocean and marine life conservation. The International Service Committee has provided support to the Yoneyama Scholarship Program and accepts one exchange student from Belgium with our member Rotarian being his host family. Thanks to your generous contributions, our Club made donations to Rotary Foundation and achieved the District goal of $230 per member. We also made donations to 9 organizations in Japan and 2 overseas as part of our social service initiatives.

 As we proceed to the latter half of this Rotary Year, let me ask for your continuous participation in our regular meetings to deepen friendship, learn from different table speeches, and also to share your opinions and suggestions to how best we can manage our Club effectively and efficiently.

 We will have the enthronement of the Emperor to mark the new era in the coming year 2019. As I close my speech, let me wish each one of you a happy and prosperous New Year.