Japan-Ireland Relations

July 20, 2022
Two leaders who face straight at a camera and shake hands with each other with a smile The two leaders who shake hands with each other (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
Two leaders who sit at a table and have a talk Japan-Ireland Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
Prime Minister Kishida who explains a Japan-Ireland Leaders' Joint Statement at Japan-Ireland Joint Press Announcement Japan-Ireland Joint Press Announcement (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

On July 20, commencing at 11:10 a.m. for approximately 50 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Micheál Martin, T.D., Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland), who is visiting Japan. The two leaders held a joint press conference followed by a working lunch from 0:15 p.m. for approximately 1 hour. The overview of the meeting and the working lunch is as follows.
The two leaders also issued a Japan-Ireland Leaders' Joint Statement.

1. Introduction

  • (1) Prime Minister Kishida welcomed Prime Minister Martin's visit to Japan in the year marking the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland, and expressed his gratitude for Prime Minister Martin's words of condolences on the passing of the former Prime Minister ABE Shinzo. Prime Minister Kishida also expressed his desire to work closely together with Ireland, currently a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), as Russia's aggression against Ukraine undermines the foundation of the international order.
  • (2) In response, Prime Minister Martin stated that he was pleased to realize his first visit in about 20 years, on the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and reiterated his sincere condolences for the passing of the former Prime Minister Abe. He also expressed his desire to further develop the bilateral relations, particularly economic relations, and to strengthen cooperation with Japan in dealing with regional affairs, including the situation in Ukraine, and in the international arena.

2. Situation in Ukraine

Prime Minister Kishida stated that Russia's aggression against Ukraine is an outrage that undermines the foundation of the international order not only in Europe but also in Asia, that the security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific is inseparable, and that unilateral change of the status quo by force is absolutely unacceptable anywhere in the world. Prime Minister Kishida also explained Japan's unprecedentedly strong sanctions against Russia, among other things. Prime Minister Martin responded by highly appreciating efforts made by Prime Minister Kishida and Japan and explained Ireland’s efforts. The two leaders confirmed the importance of like-minded countries uniting to continue to impose sanctions against Russia and to provide assistance to Ukraine, as well as the need to closely communicate with vulnerable countries to provide assistance as the international community is facing food and energy supply shortages and price increases following the aggression.

3. Bilateral relations

Prime Minister Martin stated that on the occasion of his visit to Japan, he had visited the site of the planned construction of the "Ireland House" in Yotsuya, Tokyo, and Prime Minister Kishida welcomed the construction. The two leaders concurred on further developing the bilateral relations, including economic relations, such as those in the green and digital sectors, and to actively promote exchange of people between the two countries, on the basis of the Japan-Ireland Leaders' Joint Statement issued this time. Prime Minister Kishida also called for Ireland's cooperation in the early lifting of EU restrictions on imports of Japanese food products.

4. Regional affairs

  • (1) The two leaders shared the recognition that it is significant to realize a free and open international order based on the rule of law, and concurred on further strengthened cooperation toward the realization of a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific."
  • (2) The two leaders are seriously concerned about the situations in the East China Sea and the South China Sea and confirmed that they would strongly oppose any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force. They also reaffirmed their continued cooperation in dealing with North Korea, including nuclear and missile issues as well as the abduction issue.
  • (3) The two leaders also discussed the Northern Ireland Protocol and Prime Minister Kishida expressed his hope for an early resolution through talks between the EU and the UK.

5. Cooperation in the international arena

  • (1) Prime Minister Kishida stated that, as the only country to have suffered atomic bombings during wartime, Japan would lead international efforts towards “a world without nuclear weapons". The two leaders concurred on working closely together towards the NPT Review Conference in August
  • (2) The two leaders also confirmed cooperatiton between Ireland, a non-permanent member of the UNSC this year, and Japan, which will become a non-permanent member of the UNSC next year.

[Reference 1] Attached PDF documents

[Reference 2] Ireland House
Ireland House, on which the Irish government plans to spend the largest-ever budget for an overseas facility, will be built in Yotsuya, Tokyo (scheduled to be completed in 2024). The comprehensive facility will house the Embassy, offices of Irish government agencies and cultural facilities.

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