The 32nd Annual General Meeting for the Ireland Japan Association took place on Thursday, 24th March 2022. Meeting was held as a hybrid event with members attending in person and remotely via Zoom platform.
Raymond Hegarty, IJA Chairperson, thanked the outgoing Council members for their work, participation and team effort throughout the past year, Embassy of Japan for their continued support to the IJA, and all IJA Corporate and Individual members who have supported association and its activities in 2021.
Raymond Hegarty paid his respects to the late Derek Ryan, founder of Yamamori Japanese restaurants in Dublin. Yamamori has been a Corporate Member of the IJA and supporter of the IJA events for years.
In his report, Raymond Hegarty noted that 12 business and culture events were organized online and in person throughout the past year, including IJA Japanese Conversation Group, AGM 2021, Online Book Launch: Black Dragonfly by Jean Pasley, Sake Tasting Night, Origami workshop, Mid-Summer Japanese Outdoor Event, Tokyo Olympics: The Countdown, IJA Golf Outing 2021, Placing Employee Wellness at the Heart of Your Organisational Culture, tickets for the IJA members to the Ireland vs Japan Rugby Match at Aviva Stadium, Business Opportunities in Changing World, and Bounenkai Sake Reception and Dinner.
In 2021 IJA supported and promoted a list of online events organized by the IJA partner organisations, members and friends – UCD Japan, Unique Japan Tours, the Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce, Writers of Kyoto, Chester Beatty, Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens in Tramore, and many more.
The IJA supported Japanese School of Ireland with a donations in 2021.
Raymond Hegarty informed that IJA member’s network had 35 corporate members and 58 individual members in 2021. Two new corporate members joined the IJA in 2021 – VIOTAS and Shikkui Ireland.
An update on the Dr. and Mrs. Ushioda Scholarship was given during the meeting. Raymond Hegarty informed that after pausing scholarship award in 2020 due to Covid pandemic, in 2021 the IJA was honoured to award it to Francis Donnelly, studying for BA in Applied Languages, University of Limerick. Francis is planning to go to Nagoya University of Foreign Studies to continue her Japanese studies abroad. Raymond Hegarty thanked Paula Kelly for her support and assistance with the scholarship management and administration process over the last year.
Summary of the IJA Financial Statements for 2021 was shared with the AGM participants, membership subscription fees were discussed and approved for 2022/2023 and the new IJA Council members were announced.
Raymond Hegarty informed that this year there are 2 Council members leaving the Council. He thanked Verity Swan and Hiroaki Ozaki for their valuable advice, work and participation during their time on the Council. Yasuyuki Ozeki, former IJA Vice Chairperson will continue his work on the Council as an Ordinary Council member.
This year the IJA received enough nominations to satisfy the constitutional requirements for Chairperson and Ordinary Council members, and all places were filled without requiring a vote. This year 2 nominations were received for the IJA Vice Chairperson seat and voting took place from Thursday, 10th March – Thursday, 17th March 2022. Election results were reviewed and confirmed by an independent assessor – Stephen Power, Power & Associates.
We are delighted to announce that the new IJA Vice Chairperson is Tsugumi Yamamoto, IJA Individual member. We would also like to thank other nominee Hiro Ino, IJA Individual member, who will continue his work on the Council as an Ordinary Council member.
Four new Council members were welcomed to the IJA Council this year – Tsugumi Yamamoto, IJA Individual member who will take the seat of the IJA Vice Chairperson, and Brian Marconi, JTI, Hiro Ino, IJA Individual member and Jonathan Kelly, IJA Individual member who all will join the Council as Ordinary members.
- Raymond Hegarty, IJA Individual Member (Chairperson)
- Tsugumi Yamamoto, IJA Individual Member (Vice Chairperson)
- Brian Marconi, JTI
- Catherine Grennell-Whyte, Finnair/ATTS
- Darina Slattery, Unique Japan Tours
- Laura Goonan, Dillon Eustace
- Pamela Connell, Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking
- Stephen Mullin, CPL Ireland
- Yasuyuki Ozeki, JETRO
- Eddie Hughes, IJA Individual Member
- Hiro Ino, IJA Individual Member
- Jonathan Kelly, IJA Individual Member
- Paula Kelly, IJA Individual Member
Not on Council but invited to attend meetings:
- Sou Watanabe (Honorary Member)