Bilateral Relations


High-Level Visits between Japan and Ireland 2005


A Japanese parliamentarian delegation, which was comprised of a member of the House of Representatives, Ms. Mayumi Moriyama, Former Minister of Justice, member of Liberal Democratic Party, and four members of the House of Councillors including Ms. Wakako Hironaka, Former Minister of Environment, Mr. Yoshitake Kimata, Mr. Tadashi Inuzuka and Mr. Shinkun Haku, all of who are members of the Democratic Party, visited Ireland to attend "The 27th Annual Parliamentary Forum on Migration, Immigration and Integration" which was held in Dublin 17-18 November. It was organized by PGA (Parliamentarians for Global Action).The 28th Forum will be held in Japan next year.


Mr. Yoshiro Mori, President of the Japan Rugby Football Union and former Prime Minister of Japan, led a 7-member delegation to Dublin from 23 to 25 October. They gave a presentation to the Irish Rugby Football Union on Japan's bid to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The IRB's council meets in Dublin on November 17 to decide which country, among Japan, New Zealand and South Africa, will host the World Cup in 2011.

Mr. Masutaka Matsuura, Mayor of Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture, visited Ireland from 1 to 6 October. During his sojourn in Dublin, he met with Mrs. Catherine Byrne, Lord Mayor of Dublin. He also observed city redevelopment projects in Dublin city centre and held a Matsue Promotion Seminar at Dublin City University. Matsue City has enjoyed a long history of friendly relations with Ireland since Irish writer Lafcadio Hearn lived in Matsue at the end of the 19thcentury.


From 12th to 15th July, Mr. Tom Parlon T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Finance (with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works), paid an official visit to Japan, accompanied by a delegation from the Office of Public Works, including Mr. Sean Benton, OPW Chairman.During his visit, Mr. Parlon met with Mr. Hiroshi Imai, Senior Vice-Minister, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, in order to discuss issues common to both countries, including decentralisation, public private partnerships, and the use of technology in government. On 13th July, the delegation visited the Irish Pavilion at the Aichi Expo 2005 site.

May & March

Twenty years after their first visit as Crown Prince and Crown Princess in March 1985, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan arrived in Ireland for a four-day visit on 7th May, when they received a courtesy call at Farmleigh House from the Taoiseach, Mr. Bertie Ahern T.D.On 9th May Their Majesties attended a luncheon at Aras an Uachtarain hosted by the President and Dr. McAleese, and had the opportunity to inspect the katsura tree planted by the Emperor (then the Crown Prince) in 1985.Their Majesties were also guests of honour at a civic reception at the Mansion House attended by various representatives of Irish academic and cultural circles, including Nobel Laureate Dr. Seamus Heaney.Their Majesties also visited the ancient monastic settlement of St. Kevin at Glendalough, and Trinity College, where they viewed the Book of Kells, before departing for their visit to Norway on 10th May.

On 14th March, President Mary McAleese arrived in Japan for an official visit, accompanied by the Minister of State for Education, Ms. Sile de Valera T.D., and representatives of Tourism Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and the Irish Export Association.The President met with His Majesty Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on 17th March.The President’s busy schedule included a Tourism Ireland launch event held in Tokyo, followed by an address atTokyo University on the theme of “Ireland and Japan at the beginning of the new Millennium” on 16th March, and a visit to the Irish Pavilion at the Aichi Expo 2005 site on 18th March.The President attended a number of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations including the Ireland Funds Emerald Ball on 19th March where she was guest of honour, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in central Tokyo on 20th March.