Ambassador Kitano's Speech at the Emperor's Birthday Reception

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening.

It is my great pleasure to welcome so many guests to this evening’s reception celebrating the 60th birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan Naruhito. Following His Majesty’s Accession last year, this is the first National Day Reception to be held in the new era of Reiwa, which means beautiful harmony.

It was a great honour that the Cathaoirleach Senator Denis O’Donovan and his wife attended from Ireland His Majesty’s Enthronement Ceremony last October in Tokyo.  The Cathaoirleach’s visit to Japan marked a memorable occasion to further strengthen our bilateral relations.  For your information, photos from the Enthronement Ceremony with the participation of the Cathaoirleach are displayed on panels for you to view this evening. 

Taking this opportunity, I would like to share with you His Majesty’s address at the Ceremony:

(The Emperor’s Address on 22nd October 2019)
“Having previously succeeded to the Imperial Throne in accordance with the Constitution of Japan and the Special Measures Law on the Imperial House Law, I now perform the Ceremony of Enthronement at the Seiden State Hall and proclaim my enthronement to those at home and abroad.
I deeply reflect anew that for more than 30 years on the Throne, His Majesty the Emperor Emeritus constantly prayed for the happiness of the people and world peace, always sharing in the joys and sorrows of the people, and showing compassion through his own bearing. I pledge hereby that I shall act according to the Constitution and fulfill my responsibility as the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people of Japan, while always wishing for the happiness of the people and the peace of the world, turning my thoughts to the people and standing by them.
I sincerely hope that our country, through our people’s wisdom and unceasing efforts, achieves further development and contributes to the friendship and peace of the international community and the welfare and prosperity of humankind.”

(Address ends)

Talking about the bilateral relationship between Japan and Ireland, last year was a wonderful one with the entering into force of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, lots of high-level visits and active people-to-people exchanges.

As for this year, I am delighted that, within less than two months, we have had a good start. The Working Holiday Programme was expanded. Mr. MIYASHITA Ichiro, State Minister of the Cabinet Office in charge of Economic and Fiscal Policy, visited Dublin two weeks ago to attend the European Financial Forum.

Looking ahead, I am happy to say we expect more to come. This year Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  I know we face some challenges for this. However, I am convinced we can successfully hold these important sports events in working together with our partners. Today, we have some items from Japanese local authorities who will provide training camp venues for the Irish Olympic and Paralympic teams. Please be sure to take some of these home with you!

This year, I also would like to come up with a new vision of our bilateral relationship to bring it to even higher levels.

Another wish of mine for this year is to see Ireland play an even greater role on the global stage. From this standpoint, I welcome the vision for Global Ireland and the new Asia-Pacific Strategy. As a friend of Ireland, I would like to work with our Irish colleagues and other partners to support these undertakings.

Now, please join me in a toast to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, His Excellency the President of Ireland, the friendship between Japan and Ireland, as well as the happiness and prosperity of the people of Ireland and all those who are here this evening. Sláinte!