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Minister Charlie Flanagan undertakes official visit to Japan


Minister Charlie Flanagan undertakes official visit to Japan

• Visit to focus on building stronger diplomatic and trade links
• Japan is Ireland’s largest export market for goods in Asia
• Minister to highlight Ireland’s credentials as an English speaking gateway to the EU post-Brexit
• Minister’s visit marks 60 years of Ireland-Japan bilateral relations & follows Foreign Minister Kishida’s visit to Ireland earlier this year

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan T.D., will begin an official visit to Japan on Sunday at the invitation of the Japanese Government.

The visit follows the successful visit to Ireland in January of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Fumio Kishida.

Speaking in advance of the visit, the Minister said:

“I am looking forward to a busy few days in Japan building on the strong diplomatic and trade links between our two countries. My visit to Japan so soon after the visit of Minister Kishida to Ireland in January reflects the importance that the Irish and Japanese Governments attach to the bilateral relationship.

“Ireland enjoys increasingly strong trade and investment ties with Japan, and bilateral trade totalled €9.8 billion in 2015. Japan remains Ireland’s largest export market for goods in Asia and it is Ireland’s largest source of FDI from Asia - there are currently 79 Japanese companies operating in Ireland, supporting over 4,000 jobs.

“The visit offers a valuable opportunity for me to convey key messages on Ireland’s response to Brexit to a Japanese audience, and to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the European Union. I look forward to engaging with business groups in Japan and promoting Ireland’s key messages in the Japanese media, particularly in the context of Brexit. It is important to reinforce that following Brexit, Ireland will remain at the heart of the EU, offering an English speaking gateway to an EU market of 440 million people, and that we possess a talented and flexible workforce and a provide a welcome home to investors.

“When in Japan I will visit Hiroshima to learn first-hand of the devastating impact of the Atomic Bomb on the city and its surroundings. Ireland shares with Japan the desire to see a world free of nuclear weapons and we have been to the forefront of the international efforts to achieve this.

“2017 also marks the 60th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan, so it is a most timely occasion for my first visit to Japan and I am delighted to visit at the invitation of the Japanese Government.”

Press Office
26 February 2017


Note to Editors:
The programme for Minister Flanagan’s visit to Japan includes the following elements:
• A Visit Peace Memorial Park, A-Bomb Dome and Museum (Hiroshima)
• Bilateral meeting with the Japanese Foreign Minister (Tokyo)
• A series of political meetings including with the Mayor of Hiroshima, Mayor Matsui, and the Japan Ireland Parliamentary Friendship League (Hiroshima & Tokyo)
• Address to Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce (Tokyo and Osaka)
• Keynote address to the Japanese Business Federation (“Keidanren”) (Tokyo)
• Address to joint IDA Ireland & Enterprise Ireland event for Japanese business executives on Ireland’s Financial Services Strategy (Tokyo)
• Lecture at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (Tokyo)
• Address Japanese media at Japan National Press Club (Tokyo)