Message from Ambassador Damien Cole
My name is Damien Cole, and as the Ambassador of Ireland to Japan, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the website of the Embassy of Ireland in Japan.
On these pages, you will find information about Ireland and the services provided by the Embassy. Our well-qualified, experienced and friendly staff are at your disposal.
Our role is to represent Ireland and to promote relations with Japan, in particular our political and economic relations, to develop greater awareness and knowledge of Ireland and to support Irish citizens in this country.
Ties between Ireland and Japan have traditionally been close and warm and they continue to be so. This is true of their political, economic, cultural, people-to-people and all other dimensions.
As democratic countries, Ireland and Japan share important values. We are both strongly committed to a rules-based international order as well as an open global trading system.
Ireland’s and Japan’s political leaders have regular contacts which are friendly and productive. In July 2022, Taoiseach Micheál Martin visited Japan and met with Prime Minister Kishida. During this visit, the two leaders concluded a new “Ireland-Japan Joint Leaders’ Statement”, which will serve as the basis for expanding bilateral relations in the political, economic and people-to-people spheres for the next half-decade or more. I look forward to implementing this agreement together with our Japanese friends and partners, over the coming months and years.
I also look forward to reinforcing the strong trade links between Ireland and Japan. Japan is Ireland’s third-largest trading partner outside the EU and our largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the Asia-Pacific region, in terms of people employed.
The exceptional Irish community in Japan (ca. 1500 in number) is active in business, culture, academia, scientific research, the media and many other areas. Our citizens are our closest partners! They and our wide network of Japanese friends are the backbone of the St Patrick’s Day events in Japan.
As part of its Global Ireland Strategy 2025, Ireland has a strong ambition for the development bilateral ties with Japan. With support from the government of Japan, Ireland is currently developing a showcase, state-of-the-art Ireland House in Tokyo. It will be a significant platform from which Ireland will project an enhanced presence and outreach in this country.
To keep abreast of exciting developments on all of these fronts, we invite website visitors to follow us on twitter @IrishEmbJapan and @IEAmbJapan, as well as on Facebook @irelandinjapan and Instagram @irelandinjapan.
In closing, let me extend a warm thanks to our own citizens, as well as to our highly appreciated Japanese and International Friends. We are truly grateful for your friendship and support!
Damien Cole is Ireland’s twelfth Ambassador to Japan.
Prior to taking up his role as Ambassador of Ireland to Japan, he was serving as Director of the Middle East and North Africa Unit at headquarters, and prior to that, as Director of the Policy Planning Unit.
A career diplomat with over 27 years of experience with the Irish Foreign Service, Damien has previously served as Ambassador of Ireland to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and non-resident Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, as well as Ambassador of Ireland to the Arab Republic of Egypt, and non-resident Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Lebanese Republic and the Arab Republic of Syria.
Earlier in his career, Damien served in a number of roles since joining the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1995. Overseas, he has served as First Secretary and Head of Political Section in the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations, New York, and as Second Secretary in the Embassy of Ireland to the Russian Federation. Damien’s assignments at Headquarters include as Director, Bilateral Programme Countries, Development Co-operation Division; Deputy Director, EU Multilateral Aid Policy, Development Co-operation Division; Desk Officer, EU Enlargement Policy and as Desk Officer in the Middle East Unit.
Damien completed his undergraduate degree in History and English at University College Cork, going on to complete a Masters Degree in Global Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London.
Damien is married with two children.