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Ireland-Japan 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations


2017 marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan. An exciting programme of cultural, political, community and sporting events was planned to commemorate this important milestone, as well as to deepen the existing positive relationship between the two countries.

In addition to the events planned by the Embassy of Ireland in Japan, and the Embassy of Japan in Ireland, civil society groups and individuals took it upon themselves to celebrate the anniversary in creative ways. In the tabs below you'll find more information about the events that were planned.



Hello, and welcome to the Embassy of Ireland in Japan's dedicated web page for the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan. As Ireland's Ambassador to Japan, it is my pleasure to preside over this important milestone in the rich and vibrant history between our two countries.

Japan is an important partner for Ireland in Asia. We are likeminded, we share the same values both at home and abroad on the international stage, and we are committed to the peaceful settlement of disputes. The Ireland-Japan relationship spans a wide area of activities in the political, business, economic and cultural spheres. On a people-to-people level we have thriving exchanges through the very successful working holiday and JET programme. The numbers of Irish and Japanese people visiting each other's countries continues to grow each year, and there are active Irish and Japanese interest societies in both countries.

60 years in the Asian Zodiac denotes the transition to a new cycle, or rebirth. I hope that the coming year of celebratory events will give impetus to our ever growing links and increase even further the warm relations between our two countries. I invite you to participate in some of our events this year and to help us to celebrate this important landmark.


Anne Barrington
Ambassador of Ireland to Japan

Here you will find useful resources about the Ireland-Japan relationship.

Ireland in Japan 2017

This short leaflet outlines the history of Ireland-Japan relations and highlights some of the events taking place in Japan to mark the 60th Anniversary

Infographic: the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Ireland and Japan

Find out some interesting facts about Ireland-Japan links!

W.B. Yeats and the Noh Tradition Stamp

To mark the 60th Anniversary, An Post issued a stamp commemorating Yeats and the Japanese Noh that influenced him.

IIEA Study: Celebrating 60 Years Ireland - Japan Diplomatic Relations

This report by the Institute of International and European Affairs, commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, examines relations between Ireland and Japan across politics, economics, trade and investment, tourism, education and culture.


Friday 13 January

ICC Film Screening: 1916 The Irish Rebellion

International Community Center, Waseda University



Thursday 16 February

Celtic Noh "At the Hawk's Well"

The esteemed Irish playwright William Butler Yeats was profoundly influenced by Japanese Noh theatre, and it inspired his 1916 creation At the Hawk's Well.

First performed in 1917, and later transported to Japan as The Hawk Princess, this play presents a unique and fascinating blend of Irish and Japanese theatrical traditions.

The classic story features a young Cú Chulainn, who journeys to a magic well to find the legendary water which bestows eternal life upon those who drink it.

All does not go smoothly for the protagonist, however, and he must face a cast of unusual characters in pursuit of his goal.

This latest performance will feature a star cast of Japanese Noh actors, and music for the acclaimed Anúna Celtic Choir.

If you are interested in attending At the Hawk's Well, please visit their website for more information: www.plankton.co.jp/takahime/e/index.html

Sunday 19 February

Irish Harp Festival

Japan Harp Association

Enquiries: TEL 090-2675-9015 Email enjoyharp@gmail.com


Wednesday, 1 March – Monday, 20 March

Ise Oo-Torii Gate Green Light-up

Irish Network Japan Mie


Saturday, 4 March

Irish Traditional Music Ceremony at Ise Shrine

Irish Network Japan Mie


Saturday, 11 March – Sunday, 12 March

Irish Festival in Matsue

Irish Festival in Matsue Organising Committee / Matsue City


Sunday, 12 March

St. Patrick's Day Parade Motomachi, Yokohama 2017

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Motomachi, Yokohama Committee


Monday, 13 March – Monday, 20 March

Saint Patrick’s Day 2017 in Ito-Yokado

Special Event at Seven Park Ario Kashiwa

Wednesday, 15 March – Sunday, 19 March

Ireland Modern Plays: "The Shadow of the Glen" "The Full Moon"

Theatre Company Haishou


Saturday, 18 March

The Emerald Ball Tokyo 2017

A celebration of all things Irish! A night of music and Craic!


Saturday, 18 March

Ireland Festival in Osaka 2017

Irish Network Japan Osaka


Saturday, 18 March

St. Patrick’s Day Party

International Exchange Association Niseko Friends


Saturday, 18 March

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Kumamoto

Kumamoto Ireland Association


Saturday, 18 March

Irish Festival [St. Patrick’s Day 2017]

Okinawa City Centre Shopping District Promotion Association, Okinawa City


Sunday, 19 March

St Patrick’s Festival Nagoya

Irish Network Japan Nagoya


Sunday, 19 March

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Okayama

Okayama St. Patrick’s Day Committee


Sunday, 19 March

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Fukuoka

The Celtic Society of Japan


Sunday, 19 March

St. Patrick's Day Parade Tokyo 2017

Irish Network Japan Tokyo

For over twenty years the Irish community in Japan has celebrated St. Patrick's Day with parades and in 2017 we hope they will be bigger and better than ever. Everyone is welcome to get involved, and with 12 parades across Japan in 2016, there's a good chance that there's a parade somewhere near you.


Saturday, 18 March - Sunday, 19 March

I love Ireland Festival 2017

This family-friendly festival, featuring Irish food producers, local Irish bars, traditional and modern Irish acts performing throughout the day and a whole lot more, is a must for anyone looking to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in 2017 in style.

The I Love Ireland Festival, or ILIF for short, attracted over 50,000 visitors in 2016, and 2017 promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Taking place in Yoyogi Park, the ILIF will be the centrepiece of celebrations in Tokyo on St. Patrick's weekend. If you would like to get involved as a volunteer or as an official sponsor, please visit the ILIF website for more information: www.iloveireland.net

Sunday, 19 March

Warm Hearts - Seibo Charity Concert

Seibo Japan


Monday, 20 March

The 6th Takamatsu Ireland Festival

Shikoku Irish Network Japan / Irish Pub The Craic



Sunday, 26 March

Fukui Patrick’s Day Festival

Fukui Patrick’s day Committee




Sunday, 2 April – Sunday, 11 June

Fun Culture Exchange: Irish Lecture Series

International Exchange Association Niseko Friends
Venue: Niseko Chomin Centre, Training Room 5


Wednesday, 3 May – Friday, 5 May

Barakura Paradise Garden Irish Dance Lesson & Dance Party

Barakura English Garden

Thursday, 11 May – Sunday, 28 May (closed on Mondays)

Exhibition: A Lonely Impulse of Delight

This exhibition of paintings is inspired by the writings of the Nobel prize-winning Irish author and poet, William Butler Yeats, and is coming to Japan in May 2016. Taking its name from An Irishman foresees his Death, the exhibition will expose a Japanese audience to both the literary genius of Yeats, and a range of Irish and international artists inspired by his works.

Venue: Tokyo University of the Arts, CHINRETSUKAN Gallery


Saturday, 13 May – Sunday, 4 June

Exhibition: Celtic Vision

Tir na nog Gallery


Saturday 3 June

Lecture Event Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of Japan-Ireland Diplomatic Relations “Japan, the Land of the Kami as Perceived by Lafcadio Hearn”

Meiji Jingu Intercultural Research Institute

Venue: Meiji Jingu Sanshuden


Friday, 16 June – Sunday, 18 June

Féile Tokyo 2017

Comhaltas Japan (CCÉ Japan)

Venue: Tokyo Concerts Lab.


Saturday, 17 June /Saturday, 24 June

Rugby Test Matches ‘Lipovitan D Challenge Cup 2017’ Japan vs Ireland

In June 2017, the senior men's international rugby team will travel from Ireland to Japan to play a series of test matches. With Ireland riding on the crest of a wave following their historic win over New Zealand in November 2016, and the Japanese team setting their sights on glory in their home Rugby World Cup in 2019, this promises to be a tour to remember, with plenty at stake for both sides.

Saturday, 17 June, 14:00 at ECOPA Stadium, Shizuoka
Saturday, 24 June, 14:40 at Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo


Tuesday, 27 June – Sunday, 10 June 2018

IRELAND - A Treasury of Literature - Irish Writers of the Same Era as Hearn -

Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum

Co-organisers: Matsue City, NPO Matsue Tourism

Cooperation: Dublin Writers Museum



Saturday, 1 July

Irish Music Salon Concert

Organised by KANAK

Venue: Café Amarphe Piano Salon


Sunday, 2 July


Organised by 2017 INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL executive committee

Venue: Kawasaki International Centre


Saturday, 8 July – Monday, 17 July

The 26th Rainbow Reel Tokyo (Tokyo International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival)

Organised by Rainbow Reel Tokyo Committee, NPO Rainbow Reel Tokyo

Venue: Cinemart Shinjuku and Spiral Hall


From Saturday, 29 July

Film: Secret of Kells

Venue: Ebisu Garden Cinema and more



Friday, 4 August – Sunday, 5 November

Yokohama Triennale 2017 “Islands, Constellations & Galapagos”

(Kathy Prendergast is participating from Ireland)

Organised by City of Yokohama, Yokohama Arts Foundation, Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK),The Asahi Shimbun, Organizing Committee for Yokohama Triennale

Venue: Yokohama Museum of Art and Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No.1



Friday, 1 September – Sunday, 10 September

Waiting for Godot performed by Mouth on Fire

In honour of the long-standing relationship between Theatre X (Cai) and Ireland, especially the wonderful troupe Mouth On Fire, and marking the new publication in Japanese of Samuel Beckett's Theatrical Notebooks, a new production of Beckett's seminal work, Waiting for Godot, will be performed in September. The performance, directed by Melissa Nolan and Cathal Quinn, will be a collaboration between Irish and Japanese actors and will be staged at Theatre X in Ryogoku www.theaterx.jp (1-5 September), and in Kyoto's Zoukei University (9, 10 September). For bookings: www.theaterx.jp/17/170901-170905p.php (Tokyo), http://k-pac.org/?p=3331 (Kyoto)

Saturday, 2 September

Irish Culinary and Celtic Music Seminar

Organised by ICEJ (International Culture Exchange Japan)

Venue: Hattori Nutrition College

Facebook Page

Friday, 8 September

Irish Day

Organised by Yokohama Steiner School

Venue: Yokohama Steiner School, Tokaichiba Building


Saturday, 9 September / Saturday, 16 September / Saturday, 7 October

Global cultural understanding seminar: Stories and Music from Ireland, Irish Harp Recital and Irish Dance Workshop

Organised by Kawasaki International Centre

Venue: Kawasaki International Centre


Tuesday, 26 September – Tuesday, 3 October

Lafcadio Hearn Project & “Music Documents” in Japan and Ireland

Organised by nothing but music

Venue: Ryogoku Monten Hall, Sacred Heart International School, Berrick Hall, Matsue Kitahori Museum


Saturday, 30 September - Sunday, 5 November

Awaji Art Circus 2017: Irish dance duo ‘Trinity Lace’

Organised by Awaji Art Circus Executive Commitee
Venue: over 15 venues in Awaji Island, Hyogo


Saturday, 7 October

Ireland Meets Japan: W.B. Yeats, Lafcadio Hearn and Kyogen in Hikone

Organised by Promotion Committee of the 410th Anniversary Celebration of Hikone Castle
Venue: Hikone Castle Museum

Saturday, 7 October

Green An-don Workshop

Organised by Junior Chamber International Matsue
Venue: Matsue Castle

Monday, 9 October

Celtic Market in Autumn

Organised by THE MUSIC PLANT
Venue: Asakusa Lion Studio

From 14 October

Film: The Price of Desire

Venue: Bunkamura Le Cinema and more



14 October 2017

Ireland Trophy Stakes

The Embassy is delighted to confirm that the Ireland Trophy will return in 2017, with the support of the Japan Racing Association. For the first time the race has been upgraded to a Grade 2 status, and in 2017 we look forward to welcoming racing fans to a very special day at Tokyo Racecourse. Stay tuned for more information as the day approaches.

Saturday, 14 October

Concert: Irish Harp, Uilleann Pipes and Irish Dance

Organised by Kawasaki International Centre

Venue: Kawasaki International Centre


Saturday, 14 October – Sunday, 15 October

The 34th International Conference, IASIL Japan

Organised by IASIL (International Association for Studies of Irish Literatures) Japan

Venue: Kindai University (Higashi-osaka Campus)


Tuesday, 31 October

'Different voices: Irish composers and their traditions'
Lecture Concert by Dr. Martin O’Leary at Rikkyo University

Organised by College of Intercultural Communication, Rikkyo University
Venue: Room 5342, Building 5, Rikkyo University


Saturdays 4 and 18 November

Féile mhór

Organised by Yoshio Takahata
Venue: Clare Home & Garden (4 November, Tokyo), Studio & Gallery timeblue (18 November, Osaka)

Saturdays 11 and 18 November

Japan-Ireland 60 at Toyo

Organised by Department of English and American Literature, Toyo University
Venue: Inoue Enryo Hall / 125 Memorial Hall, Toyo University

Monday, 20 November – Friday, 24 November

Symposium: Current trends in Optical and X-Ray metrologies of key enabling nanomaterials/devices for the Ubiquitous Society, Renewable Energy and Health

Okayama Convention Centre


Tuesday, 28 November

Seminar “Women leaders: taking on challenges and finding solutions”

Tsuda University


Tuesday, 28 November

Ireland Meets Japan: W.B. Yeats, Lafcadio Hearn and Kyogen in Matsue

Organised by Sanin Japan Ireland Association, Culture Foundation of Shimane Prefecture, Shimane Prefectural Government

Venue: Shimane Civic Centre


Celtic Christmas 2017 - The Chieftains 55th Anniversary tour

Join in the celebration of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan by coming to see the world's greatest traditional Irish music band, the Chieftains! These legends of traditional music will mark 55 years on the road together in 2017, and on this long awaited return visit to Japan are sure to be a huge attraction for the many, many fans of Irish music here!

Tuesday 5 December

Ireland-Japan 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations. Book Launch Lecture “Ireland and Japan: 1957-2017”

Co-Organised by Embassy of Ireland, Waseda University (Institute of Irish Studies, ICC, International Division)
Venue: Waseda University, Okuma Auditorium

Monday 11 December

Talk with the Irish Ambassador

Organised by Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
Venue: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

Saturday 16 December

Conor’s Lecture for International Understanding: Ireland, Beautiful Nature

Organised by Kanagawa Plaza for Global Citizenship (Earth Plaza)
Venue: Kanagawa Plaza for Global Citizenship (Earth Plaza)

Irish Traditional Music Workshop and Christmas Live by John John Festival

Organised by Sanin Japan-Ireland Association
Venue: (Music Workshop) Karakoro Art Studio, (Live) Gallery Matsue Seikoin-shita

As part of the preparations for this year of friendship, a public competition was held to select the official anniversary logo.

Celebrating Japan Ireland 60 years.

Selected out of the 548 entries submitted, the winning design was created by Mr Peter McBride, a graphic designer and photographer who lives in Dublin. The "Harp-Sun" logo symbolises Japan (Sun) and Ireland (Harp) in equal harmony, united to represent solidarity. The Sakura growing beautifiully between the shamrocks on the pillar represents the Irish welcome of the growth of Japanese culture. Likewise, the Irish Harp leaning confidently against the Sun represents the strong support shown by Japan towards Ireland.

The logo will be used throughout 2017, and for all communications related to events associated with the anniversary. Officially recognised events commemorating the anniversary will be entitled to use the official title "Commemorative event of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan" and the logo in all publicity materials.

Event Endorsement Guidelines for the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan in 2017.

Organisers of events will be entitled to use the official name "Commemorative event of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan" in all publicity materials including posters, pamphlets, websites, signboards, and banners. The terms for the granting of official recognition are as follows:


  1. Events should take place in Ireland or Japan between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017.
  2. Events should aim to promote and strengthen Ireland-Japan relations in various fields.
  3. Events should not advocate any particular principle, ideology or religion. They should not violate public order or standards of decency.
  4. Events should not be mainly profit-oriented.
  5. Costs must be fully borne by the organisers.


Privileges of the Event's Recognition

  1. The recognised event will be allowed to use the title of "Commemorative event of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan" as well as the official logo of the 60th anniversary in respective publicity materials (posters, pamphlets, websites, billboards, banners, etc.)
  2. The recognised event will be registered in the Official List of the "Events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan". (It will be publicised on the Embassy website etc.)


How to get approval

  1. The necessary documents together with the following documents should be submitted to the Embassy of Ireland in Japan (in the case of events held in Japan), or the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland Commemorative Events Steering Committee (in the case of events held in Ireland) 1 month prior to the date of the planned event.
  2. The Embassy of Ireland in Japan or the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland Commemorative Events Steering Committee, after such review, will report to the applicant in written form.
  3. Within one week following completion of the event, please submit several photographs (for use on the Embassy website etc.).
  4. With three months following expiration of the date of the event, please submit a summary report.  (If it is not possible to submit a summary report within three months for organisational reasons, you are required to submit an interim report and an explanation of the reason why it is not possible. A summary report must be submitted when it becomes possible to do so.)
  • Application Form, Pledge Form and Pledge Logo Form. Applications must be submitted in English unless specified.
  • Details of the event (outline/description of the event)
  • Information on the organiser (outline/description and statute of the organisation, past activities)
  • Associated profits and expenses

Please contact the Embassy for further information.

The Embassy of Ireland in Japan or the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland Commemorative Events Steering Committee will review the application based on the General Guidelines.

Address for submission of applications and enquiries

(1) For events held in Japan:

Embassy of Ireland in Japan
Ireland House, 2-10-7, Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)3-3263-0695
Fax: +81-(0)3-3265-2275

(2) For events held in Ireland:

60th anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Ireland Commemorative Events Steering Committee
Embassy of Japan in Ireland
Nutley Building, Merrion Centre, Nutley Lane, Dublin 4, D04 RP73, Ireland
Tel: +353-(0)1 202 8300
Fax:+353-(0)1 202 8350
Please also see: www.ie.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/00_000330.html


  • We are unable to return applications, so we recommend you to keep a copy for your own reference.
  • Any enquiries regarding the screening process will not be responded to.
  • Should the event be cancelled or in the case of a substantive change which does not comply with the criteria for endorsement, the endorsement and permission for use of the logo and official title may be withdrawn.
  • The organiser will be fully responsible for all aspects of the event.