2023 OISCA International Board of Directors Meeting

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For the first time in three years, free from all the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OISCA International Board of Directors Meeting was held on October 4 at the International Conference Room of the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in Tokyo. In the conference, a total of 70 delegates, observers, and members of the OISCA Secretariat from nine countries and areas, including Japan, participated.

As usual, following the recitation of the Japanese National Anthem and the OISCA theme song (INOCHI KAGAYAKE), Mr. Kitsuki Fumio, Secretary General of OISCA International, declared the meeting open.

Then, all the participants held a silent prayer for Mr. Nurul Alam, one of the leaders of the OISCA Bangladesh Chapter who passed away in April this year, and also for all victims of the international conflicts and disasters that occurred all over the world.

Afterwards, the delegates from nine countries and areas (Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan) were introduced one after another.

Mr. Jett Rojas, President, OISCA Philippines; Mr. Nagaishi Yasuaki, Vice President, OIUSCA International; and Mr. Alok Narain Sinha, Vice President, OISCA International/Trustee, National Council of OISCA in India, were respectively selected chairpersons.

Meanwhile, Ms. Nakano Etsuko, OISCA International President, delivered her keynote speech. She said she was delighted that OISCA discussed the OISCA Movement amid the complex world issues and the severe climate changes that caused many destructive natural disasters. She expressed her sorrow to the victims for the loss of their lives in the devastating calamities.

She stated that these dreadful natural phenomena reminded her of the OISCA founder’s words: “Heaven and Earth are like the mirrors that set each other”. The atmosphere on earth reflects heaven, and the atmosphere in heaven reflects the atmosphere created by humanity on earth. Humanity’s arrogance has exploited nature in the name of development and has brought about change. Humans’ insatiable desire with ego and without learning “enough is as good as a feast”, have damaged the global environment so much that the chance to implement solutions is almost unavailable.

She then went on to refer to the history of the Great Kanto Earthquake that devastated Tokyo and its vicinity 100 years ago, and the importance of the soil in connection with the 2015 International Year of Soil designated by the UN and the International Decade for Soils declared by the International Soil Science Alliance. She stressed that OISCA has been working with the motto “Not Departing from Earth”, for more than 60 years.

To conclude her speech, she cited a magazine article by Mr. George Ariyoshi, a Japanese-American who once served as State Governor of Hawaii, USA, in which she recalled a warm episode experienced as a young soldier in the post-World War II period, and we should value the spirit of “Okage-Sama”, Japanese words meaning that you can achieve something just because of others’ assistance, help, and kindness.

The meeting moved to the next agenda item: approval of a new chapter. South India’s Mambaram Chapter was unanimously approved.

After a coffee break, Mr. Kitsuki Fumio, OISCA International Secretary General, presented an overview of major OISCA activities over the past year. Among other things, he reported on the Tibet Doners’ Conference held in Dharamsala, India, in the area where the Central Tibetan Administration is located. Eight OISCA leaders participated in this conference, in which His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, delivered an address.

In addition, he touched on the 50th anniversary of OISCA ROC Taiwan, long-term projects for livelihood development carried out in Ranong Province, Thailand, and in West Java, Indonesia, and also a project for desert greening that OISCA launched in the area along the Aral Sea, Uzbekistan.

Before recessing the meeting for lunch, Mr. Miyahara Michiko, Program Officer, OISCA Kumamoto Chapter, reported on the recent development of the Kumamoto-Mongolia Project financed by the OISCA Financial Committee. On the basis of their five-year plan (2021-2025), they conducted a variety of online events for interacting with handmade groups and cultural exchanges, as well as business matching for developing businesses and creating employment for Mongolian women. Through these activities, they could achieve significant results: from June 6, 2021, to September 20, 2021, a total of 3.56 million yen was remitted to Mongolia.

The meeting after lunch was spent for presentations by different national chapters (Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Trust National Council of OISCA in India, South India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan). OISCA Thailand and OISCA Mexico sent video reports on their major projects and activities, respectively.

The highlight of the board meeting this year was the discussion of the major agenda item, “Greater Asia and Pacific Rim Strategic Partnership Initiative, that was proposed by Mr. Nagaishi Yasuaki, Vice President, OISCA International. It is a comprehensive framework that encompasses all of Asia and the Pacific Rim and is aimed at promoting the exchange of human resources and the facilitation and revitalization of business partnerships in the region, utilizing the OISCA international network.

Mr. Akasaka Kiyotaka, Councilor of OISCA Japan and former Undersecretary-General of the UN, acted as a facilitator in the discussions.

At first, Mr. Nagaishi reviewed the following six-point concept and further elaborated on the basic policies.

  1. Fostering and exchanging a wide range of human resources
  2. Promote disaster reduction and mitigation and various environmental conservation and education activities utilizing ecosystems.
  3. Poverty reduction and regional economic revitalization through the promotion of social businesses rooted in each region
  4. Promotion of sustainable agriculture and technological exchange to ensure food safety and self-sufficiency
  5. Promotion of various appropriate technologies and technological exchange
  6. Promotion of business matching among private companies in the region

Then, Mr. Akasaka opened the floor for comments and specific suggestions.
In reply to Mr. Nagaishi’s initiative, a wide range of comments and suggestions were presented, such as the inclusion of dealing with climate change (Mr. Alok, India), organizing conferences inviting businessmen, OISCA OB, and technologists to discuss the issues (South India), focusing on pesticide-free agriculture (South India), adding natural farming and food processing (South India), and adding gender equality for women and children (South India).

At the end of the discussions, Mr. Nagaishi thanked all the frank comments and constructive suggestions. He said he would modify the points and inform the national chapters in due time.

Following the general overview of the board meeting by Mr. Nagaishi, Mr. Alok Narain Sinha, Vice President of OISCA International, closed the session with short remarks.

On October 4, an informal gathering with drinks and food took place at the Café “Friends” of the Olympic Center. The delegates, observers, and OISCA staff joined this social gathering.

On the following day (October 5), the majority of the delegates went on an overnight tour of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture. They visited OISCA Hamamatsu Kokusai High School and SUZUKI, a major automobile manufacturer in Japan, where they were received by the top leaders of the management.