The Embassy plays an important role in developing and sustaining the strong political, economic and cultural relations between Ireland and Japan.
Japan is Ireland’s 11th largest trading partner. In 2013, we exported over €1.6 billion worth of goods principally in the agri-food, pharma/medical, ICT and financial services areas, and imported just over €1 billion, meaning that Ireland enjoys a trade surplus with Japan.
For our size, Ireland is quite well known in Japan. Irish culture, from Guinness to Enya to Irish traditional music, is very popular. Over 1,200 Irish people live in Japan, a large number relative to our population, and many have married and have families here. The events held in Japan around St. Patrick’s Day, including the many parades, the I Love Ireland Festival and the Emerald Ball, are very popular among Japanese people. Further information on the Ireland Festival events is available elsewhere on this website.
Political relations are also excellent. Prime Minister Abe visited Dublin in June 2013 and Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited Japan in December 2013. During that visit, the two Prime Ministers agreed a Joint Declaration entitled a Partnership for Innovation and Growth. This sets out the vision both governments have on how to expand the relationship in the coming years, as the two countries mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2017.
The Declaration identifies 5 key sectors that offer real potential to expand bilateral trade: agri-food, financial services, ICT, life sciences and clean technologies, and education.