The 30th Annual General Meeting for the Ireland Japan Association took place on Thursday, 19th March 2020. It was hosted via conference call due to the Covid-19 developments in the country and advice from the authorities to avoid large meetings indoors.
Darina Slattery, IJA Chairperson, thanked the outgoing Council members for their work, participation and team effort throughout the past year, Embassy of Japan for continued support to the IJA, AIB – the Patron member of the IJA, and all IJA Corporate and Individual members.
In her report, Darina Slattery noted that 2019 was a very busy year for the IJA, especially with the Rugby World Cup taking place in Japan which created a lot of interest about Japan here in Ireland. 16 business and culture events were organized throughout the past year (14 events in 2019 and 2 events in 2020), including Japanese language courses, free Japanese conversation group meetings in cooperation with TCD, business briefings in cooperation with the IJA Corporate members, RWC Travel and Culture Day, Sushi & Sake experience, exclusive fine dining event at Michelin star restaurant Ichigo Ichie, IJA Annual Dinner, Annual Golf Outing, Japanese Noh ‘Between the Stones’ tour in Ireland and Bounenkai celebration at the end of the year.
The IJA supported four organizations with donations in 2019: Dublin School for Japanese Children (DSJC), Japanese School of Ireland, Experience Japan festival in Dublin and 17th Japanese Speech Contest.
Ushioda Scholarship was established in honour of Dr. and Mrs. Ushioda’s major contribution to the development of the Ireland Japan Association and Ireland-Japan relations, and to underpin the association’s strong commitment to supporting Japanese studies in Ireland. In 2019, the scholarship was awarded to Sophia Herar, DCU.
Darina Slattery informed that IJA member’s network has 37 corporate members and 45 individual members. Four new corporate members have recently joined the IJA – CLP Resources plc, MUFG Investor Services, Retro Vino and Clover Aircraft Leasing. Darina Slattery thanked AIB for continuous support and decision to remain as a Patron member for 2020.
Summary of the IJA Financial Statements for 2019 was shared with the AGM participants, membership subscription fees were approved for 2020/2021 and the new IJA Council members were announced.
Darina Slattery thanked Neil Maher (Mitsubishi Electric) and Paula Kelly (Individual member) for their work at the IJA Council in the past years. Both have stepped down at the AGM after three years of service at the IJA Council. Darina Slattery also informed that after four years in the position of the IJA Chairperson, she is stepping down and thanked everyone at the IJA Council for a truly amazing work promoting Japanese culture and strengthening ties between both countries.
Four new Council members were welcomed to the IJA Council this year – Colin Murray (Retro Vino / Retro Sake), Eddie Hughes (Individual member), Hiroaki Ozaki (Individual member) and Zachary Schroeder (Individual member), and very warm welcome to the newly elected IJA Chairperson – Raymond Hegarty.
The newly elected IJA Council for 2020:
Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Ex-Officio
- Raymond Hegarty (Chairperson)
- Yasuyuki Ozeki, JETRO (Vice-Chairperson)
- Darina Slattery, Unique Japan Tours (Ex-Officio)
- Colin Murray, Retro Vino
- Eoghan Howe, BOI Corporate Banking
- Donagh Morris, MUFG Investor Services
- Graham Ryan, Yamamori
- Niall Moriarty, AIB Corporate Banking
- Shane Geraghty, Dillon Eustace
- Tsugumi Yamamoto, Grant Thornton Ireland
- Eddie Hughes, Individual Member
- Hiro Ino, Individual Member
- Hiroaki Ozaki, Individual Member
- Verity Swan, Individual Member
- Zachary Schroeder, Individual Member
Not on Council but invited to attend meetings:
- Sou Watanabe (Honorary)
- Tom Hardiman (Honorary)
Darina Slattery informed that the IJA is carefully monitoring the situation regarding Covid-19 and, unfortunately, all IJA upcoming events in March have been cancelled. The IJA will be following public health advice guidelines from the authorities regarding events in the next months. Please follow announcements on the IJA website and social media.