Emperor’s Birthday Reception 2024

Ambassador Maruyama’s Speech
Welcome Greetings (Minister of State Chambers)
On 23 February, Ambassador Maruyama hosted the Emperor’s Birthday Reception at his official residence. One hundred and sixty-two guests attended, including former Taoiseach Mr. Bertie Ahern, Irish Government officials beginning with Mr. Jack Chambers TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport and the Department of the Environment, Climate & Communications, Ireland Japan Parliamentary Friendship Group members Mr. Matt Shanahan TD, Senator Gerry Horkan, and Senator Barry Ward, Defence Forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Seán Clancy, Cllr. Eva Elizabeth Dowling, Leas-Cathaoirleach, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Cllr. Jim Finucane, Cathaoirleach, Kerry County Council, Cllr. John Keogh, Cathaoirleach, Roscommon County Council, members of the Diplomatic Corps in Ireland, and representatives from academia, culture and sport, as well as from businesses and organisations based in Ireland.
At the beginning of the reception, students from St. Cronan’s Senior National School, one of the primary schools in Ireland where Japanese is taught*, sang the Japanese and Irish national anthems and this was followed by Ambassador Maruyama’s remarks. As well as congratulating His Majesty the Emperor on his 64th birthday and expressing his gratitude for the warm messages of sympathy and support from the people of Ireland following the Noto Peninsula Earthquake on New Year’s Day, Ambassador Maruyama looked back at Japan-Ireland economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges. He noted the visit of then Taoiseach Mr. Micheál Martin TD to Japan in July 2022, the visit of the delegation led by Ceann Comhairle Mr. Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD to Japan, including Hiroshima, in February 2023, the visit to Japan by Minister of State Chambers in March 2023 as part of the Irish Government’s St. Patrick’s Day diplomacy, and the visit by Mr. Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, as the President of the Eurogroup when Japan was the G7 chair last year, had all further strengthened bilateral relations.
There was also a promotion of Toyama Prefecture at the reception through the display of traditional crafts and sightseeing videos of the prefecture. The reception was a great opportunity for the invited guests to experience the charms of Japan while enjoying sake and Japanese food.
Ambassador Maruyama’s Speech
* In preparation for the launch of a new curriculum for foreign language learning in primary education, the Department of Education announced that Post Primary Languages Ireland (PPLI) is currently implementing a trial lesson module called “Say Yes to Languages”, an initiative to introduce languages other than English and Irish into primary education, through which Japanese is being taught at 11 primary schools in Ireland.
Toast by Former Taoiseach Ahern (Second Left)
Guests at the Reception
Japanese and Irish Anthems Performed by Children Studying Japanese at St Cronan’s Senior National School
Display of Traditional Crafts from Toyama Prefecture
Display of Toyama Prefecture Tourism Photos