The 33rd Annual General Meeting for the Ireland Japan Association took place on Thursday, 23rd March 2023. 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 2022.
Raymond Hegarty warmly welcomed H. E. Mr. Norio Maruyama, the new Ambassador of Japan in Ireland, wishing him and his team a very successful time in Ireland during his service.
In his report, Raymond Hegarty noted that 10 business and culture events were organized online and in person throughout the past year, including IJA Japanese Conversation Group, Ikebana Demonstration Online, Japanese Language and Culture Course, AGM 2022, IJA Annual Dinner, Summer Ikebana Workshop, IJA Golf Outing 2022, Autumn Ikebana Workshop, Ichigo Ichie Dinner Event, and Bounenkai celebrations. Raymond Hegarty thanked all Council members who have dedicated their time and effort to organise these events.
In 2022 IJA supported and promoted a long list of various events organized by the IJA partner organisations, members and friends – UCD Japan, Experience Japan, Unique Japan Tours, the Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Film Festival, East Asia Film Festival, Chester Beatty, EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, Raku Theatre Group, Japan Hockey team games in Dublin, and many more.
The IJA supported Experience Japan festival and Japanese School of Ireland with donations in 2022.
Raymond Hegarty informed that IJA member’s network had 33 corporate members and 58 individual members in 2022. The IJA is delighted to welcome our new corporate members who joined the IJA in 2022 and early 2023: IJA Patron member – ElectroRoute, and corporate members – Openskies Aerial Technology Ltd. and K&L Gates Ireland.
An update on the Dr. and Mrs. Ushioda Scholarship was given during the meeting. Raymond Hegarty informed that in 2022 Ushioda Scholarship was presented to 2 students:
- Francis Donnelly (2021 winner), studying for BA in Applied Languages, University of Limerick. Francis is currently studying Japanese studies at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies. Due to the pandemic, her departure was postponed in 2021;
- Joseph Peter Talento (2022 winner), studying Business Studies International at DCU. Joseph has travelled to Japan for an exchange year at Toyo University.
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 2022 was shared with the AGM participants, membership subscription fees were discussed and approved for 2023/2024 and the new IJA Council members were announced.
Raymond Hegarty thanked Eddie Hughes for his valuable advice, work and participation during his time on the Council. E. Hughes stepped down after 3 year servie on the Council. Raymond Hegarty, who is stepping down after serving 3 years as the IJA Chairperson, will continue his work on the Council as Ex-Officio.
This year the IJA received enough nominations to satisfy the constitutional requirements for Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Ordinary Council members, and all places were filled without requiring a vote. Raymond Hegarty congratulated Catherine Grennell-Whyte and wished her success in the new role.
Three new Council members were welcomed to the IJA Council this year – Azumi Uchitani, ElectroRoute, Eva Reavley, IJA Individual member and Verity Swan, IJA Individual member who all will join the Council as Ordinary members. All new Council members made short introductions.
- Catherine Grennell-Whyte, ATTS/Finnair (Chairperson)
- Tsugumi Yamamoto, IJA Individual Member (Vice Chairperson)
- Raymond Hegarty, IJA Individual Member
- Azumi Uchitani, ElectroRoute
- Brian Marconi, JTI
- Darina Slattery, Unique Japan Tours
- Laura Goonan, Dillon Eustace
- Pamela Connell, Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking
- Stephen Mullin, CPL Ireland
- Yasuyuki Ozeki, JETRO
- Eva Reavley, IJA Individual Member
- Hiro Ino, IJA Individual Member
- Jonathan Kelly, IJA Individual Member
- Paula Kelly, IJA Individual Member
- Verity Swan, IJA Individual Member
Not on Council but invited to attend meetings:
- Keiko Nakata, Embassy of Japan (Honorary Member)