Japan-Ireland Relations (Overview)
October 12, 2017
History of the Bilateral Relationship
The two countries have always maintained a friendly relationship with few issues of conflict. After Ireland’s separation from the British Commonwealth in 1949, Japan and Ireland established diplomatic relations in 1957. The Japanese legation in Ireland was upgraded to an embassy in 1964, while Ireland established its embassy in Tokyo in 1973. The two countries are celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations in 2017.
|2004||Prime Minister Bertie Ahern|
|2005||President Mary McAleese|
|2005||Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs Noel Treacy|
|2006||Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Dick Roche|
|2006||Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern|
|2006||Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin|
|2007||Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children and Special Envoy of the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Ireland Donogh O'Malley|
|2007||Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern|
|2008||Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Mary Coughlan|
|2008||Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan|
|2009||Prime Minister Brian Cowen
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Brendan Smith
Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment John McGuinness
|2009||Minister for Education and Science Batt O'Keeffe|
|2010||Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan|
|2011||Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore|
|2012||Minister for Finance Michael Noonan|
|2012||Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Sean Sherlock|
|2012||Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government Fergus O'Dowd|
|2013||Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar (March)
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton (July)
Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills with special responsibility for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock (October)
Prime Minister Enda Kenny (December)
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney (December)
|2014||Speaker of the Upper House Paddy Burke (February)
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald (March)
|2015||Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin (March)|
|2016||Minister of State for European Affairs and Data Protection Dara Murphy (September)
Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan (October)
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchel-O’Connor (November)
|2017||Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charles Flanagan (February)
Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform Pascal Donohue (March)
|2000||Princess Sayako (the present Ms. Sayako Kuroda)|
|2002||Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs and for Science and Technology Policy Omi|
|2002||Senior Vice Minister for Finance Taniguchi|
|2004||Senior Vice Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Harada|
|2005||The Emperor and Empress|
|2006||Senior Vice Minister for Health, Labour and Welfare Akamatsu|
|2007||Senior Vice Minister for Finance Tanaka|
|2007||Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Fukui|
|2012||Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yamane|
|2012||Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shimba|
|2013||Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Shimomura (May)
Prime Minister Abe (June)
Chairman of the Standing Committee on Budget, the House of Representatives Yamamoto (July)
|2017||Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida (January)
Princess Takamado (July)
In 2013, mutual visits by the political leaders were realised for the first time in the history of bilateral relations; in June, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Dublin and in December Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited Tokyo. The two leaders decided to launch a new Japan-Ireland Partnership for Innovation and Growth. In January 2017, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida visited Ireland, followed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Flanagan’s visit to Japan from February to March, on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the two countries’ diplomatic relations.
Trade and investment between the two countries have been in favorable condition in general. The Government of Ireland actively promotes exports as well as inward investment from foreign companies.
The exports from Ireland to Japan were 690.4 billion yen in 2016, while Japan's exports to Ireland were 82.5 billion yen in the same year. The main import items from Ireland are optical instruments and medicines. As for exports to Ireland, the main items are medicines and cars.
Japan's investment to Ireland is in areas such as ICT, pharmaceutical, life-science and financial services. The number of Japanese companies in Ireland is around 80 as of August 2017.
Many cultural activities, such as Experience Japan, the Japanese Film Festival and the Japanese Speech Contest, have been implemented by both governments and other organisations, including the Japan Foundation and the Ireland Japan Association. Since 1988, around 1,200 Irish people have taken part in the JET Programme, including the 42 Irish JETs in 2017.
Japanese Residents and Visa Requirements
The number of Japanese residents in Ireland is 2,182 as of 2016, while that of Irish residents in Japan is 1,074 as of December 2016. The two countries concluded a visa exemption agreement, which allows a stay of less than 6 months in each other's country without having to apply for a visa, unless a person engages in profit-making activities. Japan-Ireland Working Holiday programme started from January 2007. In 2016, the number of visa issued by Japan to Irish nationals was 59, while its number by Ireland to Japanese nationals was 395.