Ireland Japan Association

Business Breakfast Briefing 2017

Ireland Japan Association`s  inaugural Business Breakfast Briefing 2017 hosted by AIB on 29th March was a big success featuring a panel of speakers from AIB, IDA Ireland and Deloitte.

Participants were welcomed by Colin Hunt, Managing Director of Wholesale, Institutional & Corporate Banking, AIB and Hazel Smyth, Assistant Manager, AIB.

Dara Turnbull (Economist, AIB) gave an overview of Irish/European economy at present and the impact of Brexit on Ireland.

Ireland Japan Association

Photo: IJA

Bernadette Nulty (Business Development Manager, Growth Markets, IDA Ireland) presented IDA Ireland overview, working with/in Japan and impact of Brexit with the focus on Japanese companies.

Ireland Japan Association

Photo: IJA

Pieter Burger (Tax Partner, Financial Services, Deloitte) spoke about Ireland`s place in the tax world of tomorrow, focusing on recent and future tax developments and impact on Ireland.

Ireland Japan Association

Photo: IJA

On behalf of IJA, we would like to thank our Council Member Hazel Smyth (AIB) for support, cooperation and outstanding organization of the event.

We would also like to thank all the speakers and everyone who attended the event, and we look forward to seeing you at our events in the future!

More photos from the event are here!

Ireland Japan Association

Peace Event – celebrating friendship between Ireland and Japan

Ireland Japan Association Council Member Verity Swan who is also a Past District Governor of Rotary Ireland has shared an invitation with the members of the IJA to attend a Peace Event.

The Peace Event is a celebration of 100 years of The Rotary Foundation and 60 years of Diplomatic Relations between Ireland and Japan.

The event will take place on Thursday, 6th April at 7pm at the White House, Newpark, The Ward, Co. Dublin, D11XDH (located on R.135, old Ashbourne Road)/

The programme includes:

  • The planting and story of the Peace Pole
  • An outline of Rotary Foundation Peace Programmes
  • Brief talks on the links between Japan and Ireland today through business, culture, tourism and the Rotary Foundation

If members of the IJA wish to join the celebration, please RSVP to PDG Verity Swan by e-mail: by Tuesday, 4th April.

Japanese Speech Contest in Ireland

The 15th Japanese Speech Contest in Ireland

On 4 March 2017, the 15th Japanese Speech Contest in Ireland will be held between 12.00pm and 5.30pm at the FitzGerald Debating Chamber, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4. Co-organised by the Japanese Language Teachers of Ireland (JLTI) and the Embassy of Japan in Ireland, and supported by the Japan Foundation and other organisations.

This year, 12 participants in the Secondary School Category (TY & LC1 Group), 6 in the Secondary School Category (LC2 Group) and 7 in the General Category will enjoy speaking about Japan and the things that interest them. The participants will be judged on the basis of the content, expression and grammar of their speeches and a Q&A session with the judges. The prize for the winner is a return ticket to Japan, funded by the Japan Business Society in Ireland.

Japanese Speech Contest in Ireland

To mark the 15th anniversary of the contest and the occasion of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland the city of Matsue, where the best known Irish man in Japan, Lafcadio Hearn, lived for a number of years, will host and partially fund two winners from among the secondary school contestants for a return trip to Matsue where they will stay with a Japanese family and experience Japanese culture. In addition, for the first time, several Japanese winners of the 50th Youth Recitation Contest in Honor of Lafacadio Hearn, which is held in Matsue every year, will make a special presentation at The 15th Japanese Speech Contest.

In addition to the Speech Contest, the audience members will be treated to a Rokyoku performance by Ms Keiko Haruno. Rokyoku is a genre of narrative singing accompanied by a shamisen, and is one of the iconic styles of the Japanese traditional art of storytelling. Ms Haruno will follow her performance at the Speech Contest with a full concert, including an introduction to rokyoku, two pieces to be performed and the possibility to talk to the artist the following Sunday at 1.00pm in the Aula Maxima in University College Cork.

The Embassy of Japan will also have an information desk at the Speech Contest providing information on visiting, studying, working and living in Japan. The Embassy will also host a short reception with refreshments for participants at the end of the Speech Contest.

As part of the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Ireland, which will continue throughout 2017, Mrs Mari Miyoshi, Ambassador of Japan to Ireland will present her commendation to the JLTI in recognition of their contribution to Japanese language education in Ireland in the past 17 years. Dr Keiko Inoue, Chairperson of the JLTI, will accept the commendation on behalf of the group.

Ambassador Miyoshi said, “I hope that through learning Japanese students deepen their understanding of Japan and the facets and charms it has culturally, technologically and economically”, and continued “2017 marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland. In 2019, Japan will host the Rugby World Cup and, in 2020, the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will take place. I hope a lot of Irish people will take these large international events as an opportunity to visit, see and experience Japan”.

Dr Inoue said, “It is our honour to hold the Speech Contest as a part of commemorating events. The JLTI would like to express our deep gratitude to our sponsors for their continuous support and generosity without which the Speech Contest cannot be held in the current form.” She continued “We also would like to congratulate efforts and dedication made by the contestants and their teachers. We hope this contest can provide an opportunity to further friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries.”

According to the latest Survey on Japanese-Language Education Abroad 2015 conducted by the Japan Foundation, 3,213 Irish people study Japanese, which is an increase of 14% from the previous survey conducted in 2012. These students are mainly found in around 40 secondary schools and five third level institutions throughout Ireland.

The contest started in 2003 and is organised by the JLTI. This year’s contest is the 15th organised by the JLTI, and the fourth to be co-organised by the Embassy of Japan. Every year, about 30 contestants take part in the contest which attracts an audience of around 200 people.

See Event Timetable and Map here!

IJA Facebook Page

We recently launched the Ireland Japan Association official Facebook page! Be sure and like our page for all the latest updates and news. Click here to see the page.


Announcement of official logo for the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland in 2017

japan-ireland-logo-2017-finalThe year 2017 will mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland. As part of the preparations for this year of friendship, a public competition was held to select the official anniversary logo. 

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 beautifully between the shamrocks on the pillar of the harp 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. Mr McBride will be awarded an economy class return air ticket between Dublin and Tokyo (in either direction) by the London Office of Japan Airlines (JAL), in association with the Embassy of Ireland in Japan.

Mr McBride said, “I’m excited and very happy that my logo has been chosen to celebrate this special anniversary. I’ve always had an interest in Eastern cultures but I’ve never had an opportunity to visit Japan. I’m very much looking forward to visiting Japan, taking lots of photographs and learning more about Japanese culture.”

The members of the selection panel were Mrs Mari Miyoshi, Ambassador of Japan to Ireland, Ms Anne Barrington, Ambassador of Ireland to Japan, representatives of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and two external experts (from Japan and Ireland).

The logo will be used throughout 2017 in all communication regarding activities associated with the anniversary. Officially recognised events will be entitled to use the official title “Commemorative event of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland” and the logo in all publicity materials.

Mrs Mari Miyoshi, Ambassador of Japan to Ireland, commented, “Thank you all very much for submitting so many applications. The 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan is an important turning point for both countries (known as Kanreki in Japan, 60th birthdays mark the end of the traditional 60-year calendar cycle and a return to the year of your birth).  I’m sure the competition has raised awareness of the upcoming anniversary among Irish people”, and continued, “We hope a lot of people will use the logo, applying for event endorsement throughout 2017.”

Ms Anne Barrington, Ambassador of Ireland to Japan, echoed these sentiments, “It was really wonderful to see the enormous interest in this competition in Japan and in Ireland.  The 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two great countries will mark the beginning of a new chapter of ever closer relations between us.  The winning logo will help us to set the tone for the next 60 years.”

A series of events is being planned to commemorate this milestone, as well as to deepen the existing positive relationship between the two countries.

Further information about the 60th anniversary as well as the commemorative event endorsement procedure, is now available on the dedicated webpage of the Embassy’s website:, and on the website of the Embassy of Ireland in Japan:

To stay updated with the latest information on the 60th anniversary events, please follow us on the Embassy of Japan’s newly launched Facebook page:


Join a fun informal day out in the country. The Station House Hotel has launched a Summer Sunday Garden Party with Japanese Yakisoba and Karaage ont he menu as well as traditional Irish BBQ! The perfect way to spend these brilliant sunny days. Relaxed atmosphere and great food await!

  • Date: JUNE 19th
  • RSVP by June 17th to (The hotel will reserve a special IJA table so final numbers are needed)
  • Cost: Free but you pay for your food and drink on the spot. Main course foods for 10 euro.
  • Location: The Station House Hotel, Kilmessan, Co Meath Tel: 046-9025239

We look forward to seeing you and your family and friends on what promises to be a great day out!

IJA Events Team.






·        Ms. Darina Nakagawa has agreed to be nominated for a term as Chairperson
·        Mr. Yasuyuki Ozeki has agreed to be nominated for another term as Vice-Chairperson

Under the constitution, all Ordinary Council Members may be re-elected but may not hold office for more than three consecutive years. This year there are four Council Members:
•    Mr. Paul Murray cannot stand for election because he cannot hold office for more than three consecutive years
•    Ms. Darina Nakagawa cannot stand for election because she cannot hold office for more than three consecutive years
•    Mr. Alan Long cannot stand for election because he cannot hold office for more than three consecutive years
•    Mr. Yuichi Asada cannot stand for election because he cannot hold office for more than three consecutive years
Further, Ms. Nora O’Donnell will not run for the Council Member for the next term.

Under the constitution, we are required to have a minimum of 3 Individual Council Members and 6 Corporate Member representatives, so we encourage new nominations.

Confirmation of attendance to the AGM and nomination forms should be received by COB on Friday 11th March 2016.

Please note that you need to be a fully paid-up member to vote and attend the AGM. Please email us ( if you would like to attend the AGM on March 21st. Email ALICE ORR to receive the Nomination Forms for out-going/in-coming council members (available to IJA Members Only).


Corporate Tables available for 8-10 people and Individual Tickets available

Tickets: 80 Euro (IJA Member) or 100 Euro (Non Members – <a href=””>Interested in becoming a member</a>)?

To book your place, contact Alice Orr, IJA Secretary.

Ireland Japan Association
Tel/Fax: 01 2352842
Email: <a href=””></a>

We look forward to seeing old friends and new at this upcoming event.

Raymond Hegarty
IJA Chairperson


‘Hanami’, or flower viewing, is the centuries old Japanese custom of families and groups all over Japan coming together to enjoy springtime viewing of the beautiful ‘Sakura’, or cherry blossoms. This is the sixth time for the Japanese community in Ireland to celebrate ‘Hanami’ and the ‘Sakura’ in the beautiful gardens of Farmleigh House and Estate in Dublin’s Phoenix Park with the people of Dublin and Ireland.

Ireland’s ‘Hanami’ takes place this year between 12.00 and 16.00 on Sunday, 12 April 2015. All media are kindly invited to visit Farmleigh to get photos and videos of dignitaries and the main performances. Highlights are as follows (times may vary):

12.15 – “Fusion of Japanese and Irish music” with Sean Whelan and Philip Horan

13.20 – “Dance of the Cherry Trees” by John Spillane

14.50 – Official Opening and Sake Barrel Opening Ceremony with Cllr Christy Burke, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mr Simon Harris, TD, Minister of State, and Mr Chihiro Atsumi, Ambassador of Japan to Ireland

15.15 – Fusion of Irish dance and Japanese taiko drum performances (with Olive Hurley Dance Troupe and Japanese School Children)

Detailed information on the programme is available in the attached List of Events.  Media are requested to include the following captions when using any of the attached photographs:

Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4: Paul Kelly Photography No. 5: Fennell Photography

Throughout the spring, Experience Japan will feature a series of academic seminars on aspects of Japan on Sunday, 19 (Chester Beatty Library) and Tuesday, 21 April (Dublin City Council, Wood Quay), as well as a Young Adult Seminar Series on Sunday, 26 April (Chester Beatty Library).

Mr Chihiro Atsumi, Ambassador of Japan said, “It gives me great pleasure that Experience Japan is now in its sixth year of existence. It has grown into the largest regular annual event celebrating Japanese culture in Ireland”, and continued, “Ireland and Japan enjoy very close political and economic ties, but our cultural links are equally important. For evidence of this, you only have to see how Experience Japan has expanded every year, with the help and support of everyone with an interest in Japan. I very much hope that our two countries will continue to grow closer this year too”.

Ms Anne Barrington, Ambassador of Ireland to Japan said “As relations between Ireland and Japan grow from strength to strength it is wonderful to see the work being done by the Experience Japan Festival in extending and developing the cultural and other links between our two countries”, and continued “Best wishes to all attending the Experience Japan Festival 2015!”

Experience Japan is run with the support of the Office of Public Works in Farmleigh, Dublin City Council (DCC), the Chester Beatty Library (CBL), Dublin City University (DCU), University College Dublin (UCD) and the Embassy of Japan in Ireland. Its sponsors include the Ireland Japan Association (IJA) and the Japan Business Society in Ireland.

For latest information see below:






Entrance is via the Merrion Reception (large reception area facing the RDS on the Merrion Road with glass frontage) where you will be brought to the room from here.

All members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Parking is limited on site so members are asked to park on the street if available. Advance notice is required by the bank. Please inform us if you would like to attend this event.