The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. will visit Japan for St. Patrick’s Day and to also mark 60 years of diplomatic relations with Japan.

St. Patrick’s Day offers an opportunity for the Irish Government to reach out to other countries, and to our diaspora, in a way that is unique to us. It allows trade and diplomatic relations to be strengthened and shines a light on Ireland and all we have to offer through our world-renowned greening of iconic sites.

During his stay, Minister Donohoe will meet with Irish trade and investment partners to discuss issues that are important to them. He will also make the keynote speech at a seminar organized by JETRO (Japan External Trade organization), entitled: ‘Ireland’s perspective on the future of the European Union: Brexit and beyond’.

The Minister is scheduled to meet his Japanese counterpart, Minister Nobuteru Ishihara; Minister for Economic Revitalization; Reform of Social Security and Tax; Economic and Fiscal Policy. And on St. Patrick’s Day, Minister Donohoe will address an audience of Japanese academic, media and professional contacts at a seminar organized by the EU to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.

A number of community events have also been organized to mark our national day in Japan, a highlight of which will be a reception for the Irish community and friends of Ireland, marking the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Japan.

As part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the Minister will also visit the ‘I Love Ireland Festival’, an outdoor event in central Tokyo on 18th and 19th March, attended by an expected 100,000 people. ‘I Love Ireland’ is one of over 20 important events held around Japan in March this year including Tokyo’s flagship Parade, which is in its 25th year.

Minister Donohoe said: “St. Patrick’s Day is a unique occasion and represents a golden opportunity for Irish Ministers to support achievements abroad in the trade, investment, tourism and educational sectors. I am looking forward to visiting Japan, meeting with political and business counterparts, as well as members of the thriving Irish community and our many Japanese friends. Japan and Ireland mark an important milestone in their relations this year and it will be an honor to be a part of those events at this special time of the year for our country”.

Welcoming the visit, the Ambassador of Ireland, Anne Barrington, said: “St. Patrick’s Day is becoming increasingly popular in Japan and there is no better time to reach out not only to business networks but also to the Japanese population at large and to communicate our key messages, including vital information on Ireland’s economy, our place at the heart of the European Union, and our openness to trade”.

ENDS