Table Speech

Update on Preparations for the Centennial Anniversary

July 15, 2020

>Mr. Yasuhiro Kuroda
2019-20 Director of Tokyo RC Centennial Anniversary
Senior Advisor of KOKUYO Co., Ltd.

  First and foremost, our new Board Members are already in charge from this July, yet I am here today as the past Director of the Centennial Committee to report on the preparatory activities undertaken during RY 2019-2020. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is taking a heavy toll on the world. Rotary activities were no exception as we became housebound and thus had to suspend our meetings and gatherings. Faced with such an unprecedented situation, we managed to continue our preparations by communicating via emails. On May 13th, we held a meeting with key members and decided to limit those who will attend the Anniversary Ceremony and Party to our Club members and to cancel invitation of 360 guests, 30 from overseas and 330 from across Japan, so as to prevent the spread of infection. The decision was endorsed by the Board of Directors during the Joint Meeting held on June 10th.

 We also decided to cancel the convivial gathering planned on October 20th, the day before the Party, where overseas guests including those from our Twin Club Washington D.C. RC, our sister club Ardmore RC and other clubs in Germany, South Korea and Taiwan were to participate. We plan to get congratulatory video messages or speeches read on behalf of our overseas guests during the Anniversary Ceremony. Ardmore RC had made a generous offer to send 100 dogwood trees to be planted across Japan earlier this year. Due to the spread of COVID-19, however, they could not ship the trees and we decided to postpone it until next spring.

 Please note that we have changed the seating layout of the banquet room to ensure social distancing. We will also review the infection control measures introduced since we resumed the Regular Meetings this month and take due measures so that you feel safe and comfortable joining the Party. Mr. Chikanami, Chairman of the Centennial Committee for RY 2019-2020, will give you more details on the progress made by other Committees.

 I must say our plan and preparations may be subject to further changes should the Government issue different requests or instructions based on the latest infection status. As I close my speech, let me extend my sincere gratitude to the Committee members for your dedicated service to date and over the coming three months when we will have our Anniversary Event. Let us all make our milestone Anniversary a memorable one. Thank you.

July 15, 2020

Mr. Hirotake Chikanami
Chairman of Tokyo RC Centennial
Working Committee
President of Japan Convention Services, INC.

 I serve as Vice Chairman of the Centennial Working Committee for RY 2020-2021 and will support Director Mr. Yoshizawa and Chairman Mr. Takenaka together with the Committee Officers. There are seven Sub-Committees led by Mr. Takenaka: Accounting, Centennial History Publication, Centennial Song, Centennial Ceremony Planning, Commemoration Souvenir, Commemoration Banner, and Commemoration Dogwood Tree Planting. Today, let me report on the preparations made over the last RY 2019-2020.

 Our Centennial Anniversary Ceremony and Party will be held in three months on October 21st here at the Imperial Hotel. We will take all possible measures, together with the Hotel staff, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) such as checking your body temperature at the main entrance and the reception desk, providing a seating layout to ensure social distancing as well as cleaning and disinfecting the venue. I hope you feel safe and comfortable joining our milestone event.

 We plan to start the celebration evening at 17:00 and have our President and Guests of Honor give their greetings. RI President Mr. Holger Knaack will share his video message, followed by messages from Ardmore RC and Washington D.C. RC in the USA. District 2580 Governor Mr. Nosu will be present to give his congratulatory speech. We will then proceed to our Party from 17:30 and have the honor to welcome the Living National Treasure Kabuki actor Nakamura Kichiemon to give a celebratory performance. It will be a very special stage because our member Rotarian Mr. Tsuneoka who is a master of Joruri, a form of traditional Japanese narrative music, will give a joint performance. The Party will continue with a banquet where you will enjoy a splendid meal prepared and served with utmost care. Please note that we will review and revise our regulations in detail so as to take into account the latest situation.

 I am grateful to all the Officers in charge of the Committee and Sub-Committees who have gone out of their way and devoted many hours of preparation. We already have our new Rotary Song and the Commemoration Song as well as the Commemoration Banner designed. Our Centennial History Publication will be about 120 pages and will incorporate photos and speeches of the Anniversary Ceremony and Party to be published around June 2021.

 The spread of COVID-19 has made a big impact on our planning and we are still faced with extraordinary uncertainty about the depth and duration of this crisis. Having said that, I am convinced we can join our forces to overcome this challenging time and make our Anniversary event a safe and successful one. Let me close my speech by asking for your continued support and understanding. Thank you.