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Closing ceremony for 60th anniversary of diplomatic affairs between Ireland and Japan


Closing ceremony for 60th anniversary of diplomatic affairs between Ireland and Japan


State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Kazuyuki Nakane, visited Ireland on 18-19 January as part of a trip to Europe.

His visit coincided with the Closing Ceremony concluding the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan in 2017, hosted in Iveagh House by Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Mr. Ciarán Cannon T.D. Minister Nakane attended the event as guest of honour. Mr. Eoghan Murphy T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, was also in attendance. Minister Murphy will travel to Japan for this year’s St Patrick’s Day celebration.

Minister Cannon stated:

60 years is a very significant landmark in the Japanese calendar, denoting the completion of one cycle of life and the starting of another. There is much to celebrate in the strong relationship between Ireland and Japan, from culture and sport to trade. Japan is a crucial partner for Ireland as both our largest source of investment from Asia and the largest export market in Asia for Irish goods. The development of a new Ireland House in Tokyo by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is further evidence of Ireland’s commitment to this important partner.”

At the Closing Ceremony guests enjoyed a performance of Taiko drumming by the Experience Japan Taiko Team, and a duet of Japanese harp and Irish tin whistle, a wonderful example of cross-cultural artistic expression.

During the ceremony, Minister Nakane invited Minister Cannon to complete a traditional Japanese Daruma doll ceremony, symbolising the conclusion of an important project or goal, in this case the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The doll was first presented in January 2017 to then-Minister for Foreign Affairs Charles Flanagan T.D. by Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida.

The occasion also saw the launch of a study by co-authors Dr Michael Kennedy and Dr Eoin Kinsella of the Royal Irish Academy, commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. “Ireland and Japan, 1957-2017: Diplomatic, Economic and Cultural Relations” maps the development of Ireland and Japan’s relationship over the past 60 years. At the ceremony guests enjoyed a lecture on the subject from Dr Kennedy, including a presentation of photographs and important diplomatic documents from through the decades.

Minister Cannon held a bilateral meeting with Minister Nakane prior to the ceremony in which they discussed a number of issues of bilateral and multilateral interest, including trade, Brexit, progress towards an EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, co-operation at international level, and regional affairs in Asia.