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Greetings on Appointment

I am pleased to announce that I was appointed Chairman as Mr. Hisao Yoshihara’s successor at this year's general meeting held today, and now determined to work hard together with the other new board members for the further development of our association, which has developed its activities with the cooperation of our members and other citizens and the support of the Inzai City since its foundation in 2001.
 Looking at the world today, we are faced with a mountain of difficult issues such as the threat of nuclear weapons, climate change, and human rights issues. In the face of these global issues, our individual existence may seem so small and powerless. However, we can change our beloved Inzai into a truly multicultural city where Japanese and foreigners respect each other's individuality and culture regardless of nationality or place of origin through interaction with foreigners close to us. I believe that the multiculturalization of a region through such private-sector-level exchanges and our constant efforts to achieve this goal must be the first step toward solving these difficult problems, even if it may seem like a roundabout path at first glance.
 To this end, we would like to work together with as many citizens as possible, Japanese or non-Japanese, who have an interest and concern for international exchange and friendship. At the same time, we believe that the participation of the younger generation, who will lead the next generation, is indispensable in order to expand our activities horizontally as well as permanently into the future. We will not be bound by conventional ideas, but will consider and implement concrete measures to make it easier for all citizens, including the younger generation, to participate in our activities.
 Now that the pandemic that lasted for more than two years is showing signs of ending, the number of foreigners who will become new residents of Inzai City will gradually increase along with the recovery of the number of foreign visitors to Japan. In addition, there may be situations where support will be needed for those who evacuated from Ukraine to Inzai City. It is certain that our activities such as holding various exchange events, supporting foreigners to learn Japanese, and holding various language courses will become more and more important.
 So, citizens, let's work together to promote international goodwill and exchange. We look forward to your participation.

Shoji Bando,


Greetings on Resignation

One of my favorite sayings is "Time and tide wait for no man." Meanwhile, I have a concern about the computer term "update" that is now in vogue.
Recently, as I have become an elderly person, I felt it was time to "update" my abilities, ways of thinking, and planning skills. In other words, I am stepping down.
I have been involved with the Inzai City International Friendship Association for about 23 years, including 9 years as chairperson. Now, I have decided to step down as chairperson, but I feel fulfilled and happy.
First, we have found an office, which I had longed for, and a base for our activities has been established thereby.
Second, I will be able to pass on the baton to the current members who have outstanding abilities.
Third, we welcomed four new board members.
The new chairperson, Mr. Shoji Bando, has a wealth of experience in overseas assignments, including the United States and Canada. He has a broad perspective, is highly insightful, and is a very mild-mannered person with excellent administrative and coordination skills. With Mr. Bando at the center, all the board members should "update" everything about the association.
The Corona Vortex may limit our activities, but please develop new activities taking up the ideas and principles of the SDGs. As for Japanese language classes, I believe there is a possibility to help accept Ukrainian refugees and other people in the future. I wish for its development.

Lastly, I would like to thank all the board and other members, staff of the Inzai City and its facilities, and all others who have supported me during my term as chairperson.
I would like to inform you that I will continue to support Tonga in the aftermath of the undersea volcanic eruption and tsunami. Thank you very much.

May 28, 2022

Hisao Yoshihara