Table Speech

Official Visit by Governor

July 24, 2019

Mr. Hiroshi Niimoto
Governor, RI District 2580
Naha RC

 I am a member of Naha RC founded in 1960, a child club of Tokyo RC. We celebrate our 60th anniversary this year. Mr. Yoshinao Senaga from Okinawa who was a member of Tokyo RC initiated the foundation of RC in Okinawa when it was still not reinstated to mainland Japan.

 The first thing came to my mind when I was appointed as Governor of this Rotary Year was to visit Tokyo RC. I am so excited today to be able to convey my thoughts to you. There are 11 RCs in Okinawa and to visit Tokyo RC for makeup is a once-in-a-lifetime desire for all our members.

 A little while ago, I attended the Presidents/Directors Meeting and the Club Assembly where Chairman of each Committee presented the policy of this Rotary Year and I was deeply impressed. Just as I expected, Tokyo RC plays an instrumental role both in Japan and throughout the world, with a total membership of 339 that encompasses all different sectors represented by top business leaders. Not only Rotarians but people across the country are keeping an eye and counting on activities of this club.

 “Tokyo Weekly” which is the Club bulletin is sent to us every week including a summary of remarkable table speeches made by renowned speakers of Japan and the world. Also, information sent out from this club is accessible anywhere in the world via the Internet, which is quite revolutionary and was not imaginable years ago. I can say this club makes a huge impact, much more than you actually realize.

 Mr. Mark Maloney, RI President of this Rotary Year, is a lawyer from the State of Alabama. As we all know, the founder of Rotary movement Mr. Paul Harris was also a lawyer. Mr. Maloney is enthusiastic about making Mr. Harris’s thoughts and ideal come true once again after more than 100 years. Mr. Maloney has set the RI slogan as “Rotary Connects the World” meaning that whoever we are, wherever we come from, whichever language we speak and customs we have, we are all connected to each other. The slogan of Tokyo RC’s Centennial Anniversary for next year “By Recalling Our Past, We Can See Our Future. Participate” also signifies this thought. I am excited that Rotary in Japan will celebrate its centennial anniversary next year and will make a new start. Rotary aspires for eternal peace of the world, believing in integrity, diversity, generosity and friendship. The utmost purpose of our life is to serve for humanity. The Rotary logo is a cogwheel, which keeps its rotation transcending time and space towards world peace. Let me encourage each one of you to apply the ideal of service in our personal, business and community life.

 Let me also thank you for sending your members to the District as Officers. Mr. Toyama as District Vice-Secretary, Mr. Itoh as Vocational Service Committee Chairman and Mr. Kimura as International Convention Promotion Committee Chairman are already fully committed to their role. Mr. Toyama is in charge of editing the Governor’s Newsletter and Mr. Itoh is engaged in Business Succession issues. Mr. Kimura told me that already 38 members of Tokyo RC applied for the International Convention in Honolulu in 2020 and 40 registered for the District Conference in Okinawa. Naha RC will host a welcome party for Tokyo RC.

 “Practice of Service for the Peaceful Bright Future” is the theme I put up this year which is in line with the thoughts of RI President Mr. Maloney. I believe when the ideal of service is translated into action in each club and District, it will revitalize each club and serve to make a better community and international society as a whole.

 We set up a “Public Image Enhancement Committee” in our District this year. There has been an opinion so far that Rotary does not need to be advertised, but I believe publicity of our activities will enhance Rotary’s image and facilitate the continuation of Rotary. Yoneyama Scholarship as well as Eradication of Landmines in Cambodia were projects initiated by Tokyo RC that spread nationwide and gave a strong impact to the society.

 Mr. Maloney also proposed to reinforce alliance with the United Nations. Rotary was involved with the establishment of the UN and UNICEF. Now in this conflicting world, Rotary has an even greater role to play to achieve peace. If you feel that your actions are making the society a better place to live, Rotary will be highly evaluated and will be imperishable. Bearing that in mind, I wish you will exert leadership in the world.

 I keep trusting and respecting Tokyo RC as our parent club and I will learn a lot from your activities. I know most of you are top leaders of major companies or organizations having branch offices in and out of Japan. Actually, half of the members of our club are working in Naha branch of companies headquartered in Tokyo. As I conclude my speech, let me ask for your support and guidance through this Rotary Year as we work towards creating a peaceful and bright future.