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IJA Annual General Meeting 2021 | Review

The 31st Annual General Meeting for the Ireland Japan Association took place on Wednesday, 24th March 2021. Following the official guidelines and taking into account the current situation in the country, the meeting took place online via Zoom platform.

The IJA General Meeting was called prior to the AGM 2021 to discuss and vote on the proposal to amend the Paragraph 10 (Election Procedure) of the IJA Constitution regarding the duration of both Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson holding of their positions. The proposed amendment was approved by majority and will be included in the IJA Constitution: ‘10.7. Both the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson shall be elected by the Annual General Meeting and shall hold office for a one year period and may be re-elected but may not hold the same office for more than three consecutive years.’

Raymond Hegarty, 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 in 2020, and all IJA Corporate and Individual members.

Raymond Hegarty paid his respects to the late Dr. Tom Hardiman (1929 -2020) who was the IJA Honorary Member and a passionate advocate of Ireland-Japan relations throughout his life.

In his report, Raymond Hegarty noted that despite the lockdown and numerous restrictions in 2020, the IJA adapted to the new situation and moved most of the events online. 10 business and culture events were organized throughout the past year, including Noh ‘Between the stones’ workshops and shows in Kilkenny and Wexford and the IJA Annual Dinner 2020 which was the last event the IJA managed to organise before the Covid pandemic hit the country, followed by a list of online events: AGM 2020, Hokkaido and the Coronavirus – coping with the second wave, IJA Photo Competition JAPANORAMIC, Kimono demonstration, Ikebana demonstration, Wellness talk ‘Happy Gut Happy Brain’, Managing Business Recovery Through Covid-19, New Business Opportunities with Japan and Ireland, and the IJA Japanese Conversation Group.

In 2020 IJA supported and promoted 12 online events in partnership with other organizations, IJA members and friends – UCD Japan, Unique Japan Tours and the Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce.

The IJA supported three organizations with donations in 2020: Dublin School for Japanese Children (DSJC), Experience Japan festival in Dublin and 18th Japanese Speech Contest.

Raymond Hegarty informed that IJA member’s network has 34 corporate members and 47 individual members. Two new corporate members have joined the IJA in 2020 – Clover Aircraft Leasing and NTT Ireland Ltd. Raymond Hegarty thanked AIB for continued support to the IJA over the years as a Patron member.

An update on the Dr. and Mrs. Ushioda Scholarship was given during the meeting, noting that the very first recipient of the scholarship – Sophia Herar (DCU) – returned from her studies in Japan in 2020 where she studied at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. Unfortunately, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, Sophia’s stay in Japan was cut short but she has expressed her gratitude for the support to Mrs. Ushioda and the IJA.  Raymond Hegarty thanked Donagh Morris for his support and assistance with the scholarship management and administration process over the last 2 years.

In 2020, due to the pandemic, the scholarship award was put on pause but the IJA is delighted to announce that in 2021 the scholarship will be awarded to a student from University of Limerick – based on their academic merits. 

Summary of the IJA Financial Statements for 2020 was shared with the AGM participants, membership subscription fees were approved for 2021/2022 and the new IJA Council members were announced.

Raymond Hegarty informed that this year there are 8 current Council members leaving the Council. He thanked Colin Murray (Retro Vino), Donagh Morris (MUFG Fund Services), Eoghan Howe (Bank of Ireland), Graham Ryan (Yamamori), Hiro Ino (IJA Individual Member), Niall Moriarty (AIB), Shane Geraghty (Dillon Eustace) and Zach Schroeder (IJA Individual Member) for their work, participation and team effort during their time on the Council.

This year the IJA received a record number of nominations for the IJA Council elections – 17, and the elections for the very first time were held online from Thursday, 11th March – Thursday, 18th March.

Seven new Council members were welcomed to the IJA Council this year – Catherine Grennell-Whyte (Finnair/ATTS), Karl O’Reilly (KWE Ireland), Laura Goonan (Dillon Eustace), Pamela Connell (Bank of Ireland), Paula Kelly (IJA Individual Member), Rachel Curry (AIB) and Stephen Mullin (CPL Ireland).

The newly elected IJA Council for 2021:

Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson

  1. Raymond Hegarty (Chairperson)
  2. Yasuyuki Ozeki, JETRO (Vice-Chairperson)

Corporate Members:

  1. Catherine Grennell-Whyte, Finnair/ATTS
  2. Darina Slattery, Unique Japan Tours
  3. Karl O’Reilly, KWE Ireland
  4. Laura Goonan, Dillon Eustace
  5. Pamela Connell, Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking
  6. Rachel Curry, AIB Corporate Banking
  7. Stephen Mullin, CPL Ireland
  8. Tsugumi Yamamoto, Grant Thornton Ireland

Individual Members:

  1. Eddie Hughes, IJA Individual Member
  2. Hiroaki Ozaki, IJA Individual Member
  3. Paula Kelly, IJA Individual Member
  4. Verity Swan, IJA Individual Member

Not on Council but invited to attend meetings:

  1. Sou Watanabe (Honorary Member)

 

IJA Annual General Meeting 2020 | Review

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

  1. Raymond Hegarty (Chairperson)
  2. Yasuyuki Ozeki, JETRO (Vice-Chairperson)
  3. Darina Slattery, Unique Japan Tours (Ex-Officio)

Corporate Members:

  1. Colin Murray, Retro Vino
  2. Eoghan Howe, BOI Corporate Banking
  3. Donagh Morris, MUFG Investor Services
  4. Graham Ryan, Yamamori
  5. Niall Moriarty, AIB Corporate Banking
  6. Shane Geraghty, Dillon Eustace
  7. Tsugumi Yamamoto, Grant Thornton Ireland

Individual Members:

  1. Eddie Hughes, Individual Member
  2. Hiro Ino, Individual Member
  3. Hiroaki Ozaki, Individual Member
  4. Verity Swan, Individual Member
  5. Zachary Schroeder, Individual Member

Not on Council but invited to attend meetings:

  1. Sou Watanabe (Honorary)
  2. 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.

Merry Christmas from all of us at the IJA!

Dear IJA Members and Friends,

Another amazing and busy year has come to an end. Christmas has come, and the year of the mouse in 2020 is soon approaching.

The IJA Council would like to thank you all for joining our events and outings this year and for your continued support to the Ireland Japan Association. We would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy start of the New Year!

A special welcome to H.E. Mr. Mitsuru Kitano, who arrived recently as Ambassador of Japan in Ireland. We wish him every success in this new position. Ambassador Kitano will continue on as the IJA’s Patron Member. We very much look forward to working together in 2020 and beyond.

We are delighted that Dr. and Mrs. Ushioda scholarship was established this year in honour of Dr. and Mrs. Ushioda’s major contribution to the development of the IJA and Ireland-Japan relations, and to underpin the association’s strong commitment to supporting Japanese studies in Ireland. It was our pleasure to award it to Sophia Herar who is our first scholarship recipient.

Rugby took over the nation here in Ireland and definitely in Japan – the host of this year’s Rugby World Cup. Many of us were a part of this amazing event, experienced Japanese hospitality and discovered this beautiful country and culture in person. For many this was the first time visiting Japan. We are sure that this experience will encourage people to return and explore the Land of the Rising Sun even more, especially with such a huge and exciting event as Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games due to start in July 2020.

Finally, we are also delighted to announce that our biggest event of the year – The IJA Annual Dinner 2020 will be taking place on February 14th at The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. We hope you will join us for an evening of celebrations and fine dining at one of the most beautiful and iconic Dublin venues.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays!

Warm wishes,

On the behalf of the IJA Council,

Darina Slattery

IJA Chairperson

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