Japan-Ireland Relations (Overview)
Overview of the Bilateral Relationship
Japan and Ireland have long maintained a friendly relationship. The two countries 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 60th Anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations was celebrated in 2017. As important partners with shared values, the bilateral relationship has enjoyed remarkable developments on various spheres in the recent past.
|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)
Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald (September)
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed (November)
|2018||Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy (March)|
|2019||Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan (March)
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed (June)
Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen (attended TICAD VII) (August)
Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance Michael D’Arcy (September)
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys (October)
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross (October)
Speaker of the Upper House (Cathaorleach) Denis O’Donovan (attended the Enthronement Ceremony of the Emperor Naruhito) (October)
|2022||Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage Peter Burke (March)
Prime Minister Micheál Martin (July)
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue (August, September)
Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity Pippa Hackett (attended the state funeral for former Prime Minister ABE Shinzo) (September)
|2023||Speaker of the Lower House (Ceann Comhairle) Seán Ó Fearghaíl (February)|
|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)
|2018||State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nakane (January)|
|2020||State Minister of Cabinet Office (in charge of Finance and Economic Financial Policy) Miyashita (February)|
|2020||Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoshikawa (November)|
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 ABE Shinzo 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 Fumio 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.
In July 2022, Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio held a summit meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin during his visit to Japan on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations. The two leaders issued a Japan-Ireland Leaders' Joint Statement to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas such as global issues, economy and people-to-people exchanges.
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 806.5 billion yen in 2022, while Japan's exports to Ireland were 299.2 billion yen in the same year. The main import items from Ireland are bio chemicals, medicines and optical instruments. As for exports to Ireland, the main items are machineries including cars and medicines.
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 89 as of 2021.
Many cultural activities, such as Experience Japan, the Japanese Film Festival and the Japanese Language Contest, have been implemented by both governments and other organisations, including the Japan Foundation and the Ireland Japan Association.
Since 1988, 1,444 Irish people have taken part in the JET Programme, including the 39 Irish JETs in 2022.
In 2019, the Rugby World Cup in Japan further promoted mutual understanding between the two nations and mutual exchanges between local communities.
The number of Japanese residents in Ireland is 3,122 as of October 2022, while that of Irish residents in Japan is 1,142 as of June 2022. Japan-Ireland Working Holiday programme started from January 2007.