Table Speech

Official Visit by Governor

July 29, 2020

Mr. Yoshimitsu Nousu
Governor, RI D2580
Tokyo Koishikawa RC

 I grew up in a family of Rotarians. My father was an architect and one of the Charter Members of Tokyo Koishikawa RC where I became a member in 1991. Actually, five members of Tokyo North RC had left the Club to set up Tokyo Koishikawa RC and my father served as the first Secretary. My wife and I were both members of Tokyo North Rotaract Club and my father-in-law was a Rotarian of Tokyo North RC. Today, let me share my experience of attending the International Assembly held on 19-25 January in San Diego that attracted more than 1,500 Rotarians from around the world, including Governor Elects from 525 Districts. During a week-long training, we learned the policies for RY 2020-2021 guided under the theme “Rotary Opens Opportunities” set forth by RI President Mr. Holger Knaack who emphasized that “Rotary isn’t just a club for people to join, but rather ‘an invitation to endless opportunities’ … our acts of service, big and small, create opportunities for people who need our help.”

 Now, how many of you are familiar with the “Vision Statement” adopted in 2017 by the RI Board of Directors? It reads “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.” In its 115-year history, Rotary has expanded across 200 countries where 1.2 million members with diverse backgrounds and languages join forces under the same principle and vision.

 Let me also draw your attention to the five-year Action Plan adopted by the RI Board of Directors last year. It has the following 4 priority areas and 12 annual goals for RY 2020-2021:
◆Priority 1: Increase Our Impact
 1. Eradicate polio and highlight Rotary’s role.
 2. Increase contributions to the Annual Fund and PolioPlus while building the Endowment Fund to USD 2.025 billion (222 billon JPY) by 2025.
 3. Improve the measurable impact of district grants, global grants, PolioPlus and the Rotary Peace Centers.
 4. Build new partnerships, including opportunities with government agencies, to enhance the global footprint of humanitarian projects.

◆Priority 2: Expand Our Reach
 5. Increase and diversify participation by starting new and innovative clubs (e-clubs, passport clubs etc.) and participant engagement channels, and by attracting new members in our existing clubs.
 6. Increase the number of female members, members under 40, and Rotaractors joining Rotary.
 7. Build awareness of Rotary and Rotarians as People of Action.

◆Priority 3: Enhance Participant Engagement
 8. Enhance the engagement among Interact, Rotaract and Rotary club members and other Rotary participants.
 9. Increase collaboration between all participants, in particular between Rotary clubs and Rotaract clubs.
 10. Build new partnerships (with governments and administrative agencies etc.) to enhance the global footprint of our humanitarian projects.

◆Priority 4: Increase Our Ability to Adapt
 11. Implement adjustment to our volunteer leadership structure (Assistant Governors, District Training Leaders, District Officers).
 12. Focus and potentially narrow our program efforts in light of the threat of COVID-19.

 Now, let me focus on our District goal for this RY “Enjoy Rotary through Expanding our Membership.” I have set four concrete targets as follows to achieve our goal: “prevent members resigning from the Club,” “membership development,” “improve our public image” and “organize a Rotary Day.” I place utmost priority on membership development because we have the lowest number of Rotarians per 10,000 of population among 34 Districts in Japan. Figures show a disappointing reality that there are only 3.68 Rotarians per 10,000 people in our District, which is only half the 7.03 average in Japan. For your information, our neighboring District 2750 has as many as 7.34 members per 10,000 people that exceeds the national average. Taking into account its population size, our District needs additional 500 members to move up to the second-to-last position. I have drawn a mid- to long-term plan to achieve this in five years and call upon each club to increase membership by 20%. I hope you will all share a sense of urgency by getting to know the reality of your own club based on objective information. This is why I encourage you to register on My ROTARY that gives you wide-ranging information. Let me also ask for your generous support to contribute 25,000 JPY (230 USD) to the Rotary Foundation and 20,000 JPY to the Rotary Yoneyama Scholarship program. I sincerely hope we can work together as Rotarians in Japan to create a positive impact to the world and make our year ahead an enjoyable and fulfilling one.