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Embassy of Ireland, Tokyo – Newsletter 4 of 2022

‌Welcome message from Ambassador Cole

Dear friends and colleagues. My name is Damien Cole, and I am honoured to have taken up duty as Ambassador-designate of Ireland to Japan this month. Over the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to meeting the Irish community in Japan and our valued Japanese friends and partners, and to continuing to strengthen the long-standing and extremely positive relations between Ireland and Japan. I hope that you will continue to use this newsletter as a way of keeping in touch with the work of the Embassy, which we will continue to issue regularly. 


In this regard, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to this edition of the newsletter, which looks back at the extremely successful visit of the Taoiseach to Japan in July 2022. This visit provided great momentum for increasing engagement between Ireland and Japan, and I look forward to implementing the substantial issues set out in the Ireland-Japan Joint Leaders’ Statement as I begin my new and exciting role here in Japan. To stay updated on all of the Embassy’s ongoing activities and events, please also follow us on social media on the accounts below, as well as on my new Head of Mission account on twitter: @IEAmbJapan
そして、今回のニュースレターでは、2022年7月のミホール・マーティン首相の訪日の様子や成果をご紹介したいと思います。今回の首相の訪日は、アイルランド‐日本間の交流の促進を加速させる契機となりました。駐日アイルランド大使に就任したばかりですが、「日・アイルランド首脳共同声明」に盛り込まれた重要なプログラムをこれから実行に移していくことを楽しみにしております。現行の活動やイベントなど大使館のあらゆる最新情報をチェックできる、大使館SNS公式アカウントと私の新しいTwitterアカウント @IEAmbJapan をぜひフォローしてください。


Visit by the Taoiseach, Mr Micheál Martin, to Japan, 19-21 July 2022
アイルランド首相 ミホール・マーティン来日 2022年7月19日~21日

The Taoiseach, Mr. Micheál Martin T.D., visited Japan from 19-21 July 2022. This was the first visit to Japan by an Irish Prime Minister since 2013, and took place in the year when Ireland and Japan celebrate 65 years of diplomatic relations. The centrepiece of the visit was the bilateral meeting between the Taoiseach and Prime Minister Kishida on 20 July. During this meeting, the two leaders the excellent bilateral relationship between the countries, and 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.

Joint Statement in English
Joint Statement in Japanese


「日・アイルランド首脳共同声明」 日本語  英語


Meeting with the Japan-Ireland Parliamentary Friendship League (JIPFL)

On 19 July, the Taoiseach met with the members of the Japan-Ireland Parliamentary Friendship League. Chaired by the President of the JIPFL, Mr. Yuji Yamamoto, they discussed the deepening of parliamentary relations between the two countries, including future visits of parliamentarians in both directions. The Taoiseach also thanked the Parliamentary Friendship League for their continuing support for Irish interests and for promoting Ireland in Japan. 


Reception for the Irish Community and Japanese Partners

In the same evening, the Taoiseach met members of the Irish Community and some of our valued friends and partners in Japan. This event was also an opportunity to see a performance of traditional Japanese music and dance, as well as to see Japanese musicians play traditional Irish music, and the extent to which Irish culture is embraced and admired in Japan. The Taoiseach spoke eloquently about the contribution which the Irish community have made, and continue to make in strengthening Ireland-Japan links, and also announced the new Seamus Heaney award, which will be presented to the inaugural winner in October this year. 


Visit to the new Ireland House site

The Taoiseach visited the site of the new Ireland House in Tokyo, where he also turned the sod. The building is a showcase for Irish innovation, creativity and sustainability in Japan. Construction, due to begin soon, is due to be completed in 2024. The plans are a marriage of two cultures and two design and societal traditions. It is also the largest single capital investment overseas by a Government of Ireland in the century of Ireland’s independence, and as such, is a clear sign of Ireland’s ambition for building future relations and exchanges with Japan.


Meeting with the Chairman of Keidanren

The Taoiseach met with the Chairman of Keidanren, where he had a substantive and fruitful exchange. As part of this meeting, the Taoiseach highlighted the strength of relations between Ireland and Japan, and outlined the strength of the economic relationship between Ireland and Japan in investment and trade, and sectoral strengths including Tech and semiconductors, Life Sciences, and Food. He also highlighted the potential for further collaboration, including via the new Ireland House and EXPO Osaka 2025, where Chairman Tokura is also the Chairman of the Organizing Association of EXPO 2025.
マーティン首相は経団連会長と会談し、有意義で充実した意見交換が行われました。会談中、首相は、投資・貿易における両国の経済関係の強さを強調するとともに、テクノロジー、半導体、ライフサイエンス、食品など、アイルランドが得意とする分野をアピールしました。マーティン首相は、新設するアイルランド・ハウスや、経団連の十倉会長が運営主体のトップを務めるEXPO Osaka 2025(2025年大阪・関西万博)などを通じたさらなる協力の可能性についても力強く語りました。


Economic Meetings with Irish companies exporting to Japan, and Japanese companies operating in Ireland

In addition to the meeting with Keidanren, the Taoiseach also met with State Agency clients and their companies who are exporting to Japan, investing in Ireland, or selling food and drink to the Japanese market. As part of these meetings, the Taoiseach outlined Ireland’s strengths to the Japanese economy, including as an English-speaking member of the EU Single Market. Japan is Ireland's third largest trading partner outside the European Union. Irish companies operating in Japan employ over 2000 people. Two-way trade between Ireland and Japan is now valued at almost €20 billion.


On 20 July during his visit to Japan, the Taoiseach held a series of short roundtables with three Enterprise Ireland client companies with presences in the Japan market – Gridbeyond, ICON PLC, and Ubiqube. The purpose of the meetings was for the Taoiseach to engage with each company and learn about the latest progress and success being achieved in a range of key sectors (energy management, lifesciences, digital technologies).
The representatives spoke about opportunities and challenges presented by the Japanese market to Irish companies, as well as significant milestones for these companies including:
• a new office opening in Japan by GridBeyond;
• ICON PLC’s major acquisition in Japan and scaling objective within the market; and
• the announcement by Ubiqube Ltd of a partnership with Alaxala Networks Corporation in the Digital Technologies space.
Exports to Japan by all Enterprise Ireland supported companies increased to record levels in 2021 – reaching an all-time high of €277mn representing growth of 11.1% year on year. These engagements with the Taoiseach during his visit to Japan will also lend support to Enterprise Ireland and its clients’ marketing and awareness-building efforts in key growth sectors.
マーティン首相は訪日中の7月20日に、アイルランド政府商務庁のクライアント企業であり、日本市場で事業展開しているGridbeyond、ICON PLC、Ubiqubeの3社と短時間の会談を開催しました。この会談は、各企業と意見を交換し、それぞれの主要分野(エネルギー管理、ライフサイエンス、デジタルテクノロジー)での最新の進捗状況や主要な成果を把握することを目的としていました。
• GridBeyondは、日本に新事務所を開設。
• ICON PLCは、日本での大規模買収、日本市場内で目標をスケーリング。
• Ubiqube Ltdは、デジタルテクノロジー領域におけるアラクサラネットワークス株式会社との提携を発表。


During the recent visit to Japan, the Taoiseach met with a number of existing and potential IDA Ireland clients across the Technology, Life Sciences and Financial Services sectors.
He delivered a positive message on Ireland as an ideal location for Japanese companies to expand or establish international operations.


The Taoiseach also met with Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) client company, Nippon Steel, a key customer of Irish beef in the Japan market. Nippon Steel first visited Ireland in 2017, and have since been a key partner for Irish beef companies and Bord Bia. They supply Irish beef to various end users in the Japan market, including Negishi, a famous beef tongue specialty restaurant with 40+ outlets around Tokyo; and Natori, Japan’s biggest “otsumami” (snack food enjoyed while drinking) producer. The meeting was a success, with each party agreeing to work more closely to grow the success of Irish food and drink in Japan. An added highlight came when the Taoiseach, rather than just holding packs of Natori beef jerky for a photo, decided to try the jerky himself. Taoiseach Martin gave the jerky a great review, and this was well received by Nippon Steel. The meeting picked up coverage in the Farmer’s Journal.
日鉄物産との会談は成功裡に終わり、日本でのアイルランドの食品・飲料のさらなる拡大に向け、より緊密に協力して取り組んでいくことで一致しました。そして、この会談のもう一つのハイライトとなったのが、当初撮影用に手に持つだけの予定であった、なとりのビーフジャーキーをマーティン首相が自ら試食した場面でした。首相はジャーキーを味わった後に非常においしかったとの感想を述べ、日鉄物産からも喜ばれました。この会談の模様はアイルランドの農業専門紙Irish Farmers Journalに掲載されています。

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