Lion Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada
International President

“I look forward to a year of great service.”

So how do Lions in Japan say “We Serve”? Well, it’s “We Serve.” Our motto is not translated. Lions throughout the world proudly proclaim “We Serve.” The universality of our motto underscores that despite language and cultural differences we Lions share a common purpose. And although I am the 99th international president, each of my predecessors having had their own priorities and approaches, international presidents have shared a common commitment to service.

So I hope my year as president is like any other as Lions continue to serve with tremendous enthusiasm and impact. Yet I also hope to make a difference in how we serve. My theme is Bringing Dignity to Others Through Humanitarian Service. That’s something that has been inherent in Lions’ service since Melvin Jones first gathered Lions together. But by intentionally focusing on my theme and keeping it in the forefront we can be sure to maintain and even improve our commitment to service.

As a doctor, I have always been dedicated to healing and to do so while treating patients in a dignified manner. A good doctor not only treats illness but pays attention to the entire person—their worries, their concerns, their struggles. If you had asked me after many years as a doctor if I treated the whole person, I would have said, “Of course.” But it took a serious illness for me to re-evaluate my approach as a doctor. Likewise, as Lions we are dedicated to service, but reassessing our approach and focusing on the dignity of others in all we do will take our service to a new level.

I ask each of you this year especially to bring dignity to children. Through a project or program I ask you to make their lives better. Working together, 1.4 million Lions can help the next generation prosper and secure good health, find opportunity and achieve happiness.

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Jitsuhiro Yamada Photo

Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada, of Minokamo, Gifu, Japan, was elected to serve as president of Lions Clubs International at the association's 98th International Convention held in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, June 26 through 30, 2015.

President Yamada is a neurosurgeon.

A member of the Minokamo Lions Club, President Yamada has been a Lion since 1985. He has held many offices in the association, including district governor and GLT constitutional area vice leader. He served on the international board from 2005 to 2007 as a member of the Executive Committee and the Long Range Planning Committee and Vice Chairperson of Convention Committee. He also served as a board appointee for 2011-2012.

In recognition of his service to the association, President Yamada has received numerous awards, including the Humanitarian Partner Award, 10 International President's Awards and an Ambassador of Good Will Award, the highest honor the association bestows upon its members. He is also a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow.

In addition to his Lion activities, President Yamada is chairperson for several organizations including the Social Medical Corporation Koseikai, the Kizawa Memorial Hospital, the Social Welfare Corporation Jikeikai, Nozominooka Hospital and Ajisai Nursing College. He is a standing director of the Japan Hospital Association and an affiliate professor at Gifu University.

President Yamada has been active in the area of international relations, serving as president of the Gifu-Hungary Friendship Association, Gifu-Morocco Association and Gifu-Salzburg Association. He is a recipient of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, the Medal of Honor of the Alaouite Dynasty of the Kingdom of Morocco and an honorary citizen of Beijing City, China, in recognition of his service to international friendship building.

President Yamada and his wife, Dr. Toshiko Yamada, also a Lion and a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow, have one son, one daughter and three grandchildren.