Japan-Ireland Relations

December 16, 2019
(Photo 1) Foreign Ministers shaking hands
(Photo 2) Japan-Ireland Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On Monday, December 16, commencing at 11:30 a.m. (local time; 7:30 p.m. JST) for approximately 20 minutes, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting the Kingdom of Spain to attend the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, held a Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with H.E. Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Opening remarks

At the outset, Minister Motegi noted that “Ireland is an important partner sharing universal values”, and stated that “through the Rugby World Cup, the attention on Ireland in Japan was boosted” and that “Japan intends to maintain this momentum and continue to strengthen the bilateral relations.” In response, Minister Coveney stated; “I completely share the same view as your remarks on the Rugby World Cup. I look forward to Tokyo holding the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The relations with Japan are strategically important for Ireland. The investment from Japan to Ireland is the largest among Asian countries and the trade value between Japan and Ireland is also high. As the timing of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is approaching, I would like to emphasize Ireland’s increasing role as a gateway to Europe.”

2. Bilateral relations and Japan-EU relations

Regarding the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, Minister Motegi expressed Japan’s hope that the UK will achieve a smooth withdrawal without disruption. In response, Minister Coveney shared his view on future developments on this issue, and the two ministers exchanged their views.
Minister Coveney stated that the establishment of “the Ireland House” demonstrates Ireland’s intention to strengthen its relations with Japan in various areas, including politics, economy and culture, and Minister Motegi welcomed Minister Coveney’s comment.

3. Regional affairs

The two ministers exchanged views on situation regarding North Korea, including recent developments, and shared the view to continue close coordination toward the complete denuclearization of North Korea, including full implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. Furthermore, Japan sought Ireland’s understanding and cooperation for the early resolution of the abductions issue and obtained its support.

4. Other

The two Ministers exchanged views on the recent situations of international trade and commerce.
The two Ministers also shared that they would deepen their cooperation in the international arena, including the UN reform.

Back to Japan-Ireland Relations