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Governor's Message

Shuji Miyazaki
Governor of the Japan District

My name is Shuji Miyazaki of the Kiwanis Club of Tokyo and I have been appointed as the Japan District Governor for 2023-2024. Thank you, in advance, for your support.

I joined the Kiwanis Club of Nagoya in 2010, after serving as the club's President in 2017-2018 and a Lieutenant Governor of the Japan District in 2018-2019, I joined the Kiwanis Club of Tokyo in 2021, and I have continued to do as of today. I would like to utilize my diverse experience at Kiwanis and, with your help, contribute to the activities of Kiwanis.

The year 2024 marks the 60th anniversary since the Kiwanis Club of Tokyo was established in 1964 as the first Kiwanis club in Asia, and Kiwanis in Japan will be celebrating its 60th birthday. Looking back, 60 years ago in that year, the Tokyo Olympic Games were held, the Tokaido Shinkansen began operating, the Meishin Expressway and Shuto Expressway opened, and other events symbolized Japan's rapid economic growth. I was an elementary school student at the time, and I remember feeling excited like other Japanese children. As 20 years had passed since the end of the war, and thanks to the unyielding efforts of our predecessors, Japan was able to recover from the unprecedented devastation. In 1965, Japan was admitted to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), joining the ranks of developed countries both in name and reality.
However, at that time, Japan still had many issues to solve in areas such as poverty, economics, and in the society. Amid such situation, the Kiwanis Club arrived in Japan. Let's use the power of ordinary people to help each other, tackle various problems, and create a better society. The founding members of Kiwanis in Japan passionately devoted themselves to social service. Now, 60 years later, I am renewing my belief that we must inherit the ceaseless efforts of our predecessors, and strive to improve ourselves every day with eyes toward the next 60 years.

Furthermore, if we turn our attention to the present world, the war that started in Ukraine is causing a plethora of hardships not only to those involved, but also to soaring energy and food prices, and an increase in the number of refugees. In addition, various issues that are at the root of the healthy development of our communities, such as environmental issues and inequality issues, are becoming clearer. And children are the ones most severely affected by this. For us Kiwanians, whose motto is to "serve the children of the world," it is a high time to remember our mission, look forward, and take bold action. And we believe that our actions are the best way to repay the efforts of our predecessors, who built and nurtured the foundation of Kiwanis and entrusted their hopes for the future to us.

Of course, this is not about doing anything special. It is important to look back on the daily activities of each Kiwanis club and make constant efforts to improve their quality. I think the key is to start with what we can do.

Based on this recognition, in 2023-2024, the Japan District of Kiwanis International would like to set the following goals and move forward.
First, we will work to increase each club and membership based on the priority goals set by Kiwanis International Headquarters. Particularly in the Japan District, we will continue to work on increasing the ratio of female members, which has recently become an important medium-term issue, and will strive to revitalize the club organization so that human resources rich in diversity in terms of age and experience can play an active role.

Over the past year, since I became the governor-elect, I have interacted with President Katrina Baranko, Kiwanis executives, and fellow governors from eachdistrict. Through this process, I have been convinced that establishing the "Kiwanis Brand" was our urgent task. In order to do so, I have realized that individual Kiwanians need to understand the "importance of leadership."
Frankly speaking, Kiwanis is not always well known. Expanding our circle of service activities strengthens Kiwanis, which in turn makes Kiwanis more effective, creating a virtuous cycle. To achieve this, it is essential to not only "external branding'' to make Kiwanis' activities widely known to everyone in society, but also "internal branding'' to review and improve Kiwanis' activities themselves. From this perspective, we would like to focus on strengthening the appropriate distribution and dissemination of information both inside and outside each club and with each other.

The specific goals including the above are as follows.

(1) Upgrade Kiwanis Experience, especially Kiwanis Brand

(2) Strengthening membership/organization

  • Membership goal: 2,100 people

  • Female members: Aim to increase from 21% to 25% in August 2024

  • New club establishment target: 2 clubs

(3) Expansion of SLP

(4) Promotion of the Signature Project

(5) Expanding training opportunities

(6) Donations to Kiwanis Children's Fund and Kiwanis Japan Foundation

Kiwanis' service activities are "volunteer'' and not for profit. To make volunteer activities long-lasting ones, "FUN'' is an essential element. Let's have fun working together on volunteer activities for the bright smiles of children and for vibrant communities!

In closing, we would like to sincerely ask for the understanding and cooperation of everyone who agrees with our activities and provides any support.

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