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Writer Lafcadio Hearn’s Great-Grandson Honoured by Japanese Foreign Minister

Mr. Bon Koizumi. Photo: Embassy of Japan in Ireland

On 30 July 2017, Mrs. Mari Miyoshi, Ambassador of Japan to Ireland, presented the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation to Mr. Bon Koizumi and Mrs. Shoko Koizumi for their outstanding contribution to the mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Ireland.

Mr. Bon Koizumi is the great-grandson of the writer and translator Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), perhaps “Japan’s best-known Irishman” (John Moran) who was born on Lefkada Island, Greece, to an Irish military surgeon and a Greek mother. He is also known as Yakumo Koizumi in Japan where he found a home, married Setsu Koizumi, the daughter of a Matsue samurai, became a citizen and wrote 14 books on cultural subjects.

Bon and his wife Mrs. Shoko Koizumi have been introducing the life and works of Lafcadio Hearn to countries around the world including Japan, Ireland, and Greece since 1990. Hearn’s understanding of Japanese culture and his ‘open-minded’ spirit helped many to nurture mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Ireland.  As board members of the Sanin Japan-Ireland Association, Mr. and Mrs. Koizumi have been involved with various activities for the purpose of not only publicising Bon’s great-grandfather but also introducing Irish culture to Japan.  Matsue City, where Lafcadio Hearn used to live, has a strong relationship with Dublin, often exchanging reciprocal visits.

At the presentation ceremony, Ambassador Miyoshi said, “I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Koizumi for their outstanding contributions to deepening the mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Ireland over the last decades”, and continued, “On this occasion of the 60th anniversary of Japan-Ireland diplomatic relations, it gives me great pleasure to award the Foreign Minister’s Commendation to Mr. and Mrs. Koizumi’’. Mr. Masuo Nishibayashi, Ambassador of Japan to Greece, also sent Mr. and Mrs. Koizumi a congratulatory message.

Mr. and Mrs. Koizumi commented, “It is an honour for us to accept this award for our activities. We are grateful for the support of the Japanese Embassy in building bridges of understanding and friendship between Ireland and Japan”.

Invest Japan Seminar – Rising Opportunities 60 Years On

2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the Ireland-Japan diplomatic relationship and this is an important year to enhance further economic ties between the two countries. On 1st June 2017, JETRO organized Invest Japan Seminar in Dublin as one of the events to commemorate this momentous occasion.

Mr. Toshihiko Sakaguchi, Director General JETRO London, gave the opening speech and welcomed Japanese Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Mrs. Mari Miyoshi, the guest speakers and all the attendees to the seminar.

Invest Japan Seminar

Mr. Toshihiko Sakaguchi, Director General JETRO London

Japanese Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Mrs. Mari Miyoshi welcomed all participants to the seminar and encouraged to explore the possibilities offered to Irish businesses in Japan.

Invest Japan Seminar

Japanese Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Mrs. Mari Miyoshi

The keynote speech on economic outlook and business opportunities in Japan was given by Mr. Koji Yonetani, Executive Vice President, JETRO.

Invest Japan Seminar

Mr. Koji Yonetani, Executive Vice President, JETRO

The audience was introduced to a number of presentations given by:

Invest Japan Seminar

Mr. R​aymond Hegarty, IP Strategist and IJA Council Member led a panel discussion with all the speakers giving the audience an opportunity to ask questions and exchange opinions and experience about business environment in Japan.

Invest Japan Seminar

The event concluded with non formal networking while enjoying delicious Japanese canapes and sake.

Ireland Japan Association would like to thank Japanese Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Mrs. Mari Miyoshi, the guest speakers and everyone who attended the seminar, and we look forward seeing you at future events!

Invest Japan seminar was organized by JETRO and supported by Ireland Japan Association, Embassy of Japan in Ireland and Enterprise Ireland.

More photos from the event are here!

 

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