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St. Patrick's Day Message from Ambassador Barrington

Ambassador Anne Barrington wishes everyone in Japan a Happy Saint Patrick's Day and highlights Ireland's economic recovery.

セント・パトリックス・デーに寄せて 駐日アイルランド大使からのメッセージ

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Tokyo's trendy Omotesando district on March 15, from left, Howard Barr, Co-Chair Irish Network Japan, Irish Ambassador Anne Barrington, Grand Marshal and Fouder of Tokyo INN Co. Norimasa Nishida, Irish Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, and Ambassador' husband, Ed Miliano. YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO

On 17 March Ireland marks its National Day Saint Patrick's Day.

Nowadays, St Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide. And in Japan too! All over Japan, festivals, concerts and parades take place throughout March. People wear green, a colour representing the beauty of Ireland's landscape.

Ireland has a great story to tell: following the Eurozone economic crisis and a banking crisis at home, Ireland has turned its finances around and recent figures show GDP growth of over 7% in 2015, the highest in the Eurozone for the second year in a row. The trend is set to continue into 2017. Growth is broadly-based, with progress in Ireland's major economic sectors, including tourism, which recorded over 8 million visitors in 2015, an increase of over 13%. The achievements of Ireland's economic policies are international recognized, with investment grade ratings from the two main credit-ratings agencies. This positive outlook has, in turn, fostered thriving trade and investment links with Japan, which is now Ireland's 10th largest trading partner.

"We have niche strengths in the pharma, ICT, Greentech, Fintech, aviation, and agrifood sectors and these are a good match for Japan" said Ireland's Ambassador, Ms Anne Barrington. "Irish exports of goods to Japan in 2015 amounted to €3.88bnm an increase of 120% on the previous year. Japan is Asia's largest investor in Ireland".

"The Saint Patrick's Day festivities bring people together to celebrate our shared interests in culture and tradition", she said, "I hope that every9one will enjoy St Patrick's Day, wherever they are in Japan!"