Minister Dermot Ahern T.D., to visit Japan
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern T.D., will pay an official visit Japan from November 28 to December 1 2007.
The Minister has been invited by Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura as part of celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan.
During his visit, Minister Ahern will meet and exchange views with Foreign Minister Koumura on Ireland-Japan relations and a range of international issues of interest to both countries. It is hoped the talks will further enhance the close relations which exist between the two countries.
The Minister will also meet with Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, Mr. Yoichi Masuzoe, to discuss issues related to social security including a bilateral Social Security Agreement between Ireland and Japan. A key request of the business community, the agreement will enhance the environment for trade and investment between both countries.
A key element of the Minister’s visit will be to promote the economic and trade ties with Japan, which is Ireland’s largest trading partner in Asia. Minister Ahern will open the second Irish Funds Industry Association Seminar in Japan, which takes place in Tokyo on the 29 November and will also undertake a number of business meetings in support of Ireland-Japan trade.
Note for editors:
Ireland and Japan celebrated the opening of diplomatic relations 50
years ago on 5 March when the Taoiseach and then Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe exchanged letters of good will. A range of events have
been organised in Ireland and Japan throughout the year to
celebrate the anniversary, including Government –level contacts,
people to people exchange and the illumination in green on St
Patrick’s Day of Tokyo’s most famous landmark, Tokyo Tower.
The two Governments also launched a Working Holiday Agreement in
January to promote youth-exchange between the two countries. For
full details on the anniversary programme of events, please see
Minister Ahern visited Japan in May 2006 when he met with then Minister for Foreign Affairs, Taro Aso. The Minister also visited Japan in 2003 as Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.
Japan is Ireland’s chief trading partner in Asia and a priority country under the Government’s Asia Strategy. Annual trade between Ireland and Japan is worth €3.72 billion with a surplus in Ireland’s favour. Indigenous exports to Japan in the ICT, telecoms, medical devices and internationally-trades services sectors are increasing. In addition there are 40 Japanese companies which have operations based in Ireland.
A bilateral social security agreement protects the pension rights of persons working in either country by allowing social security contributions ("periods of coverage") in each country to be taken into account in determining entitlement to social security benefits where there would be no entitlement if national legislation only applied. Such agreement also eliminates double social security contributions in cases where employees are sent on temporary assignment to either country.
The Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA) is the representative body of the Irish funds industry, which has developed a range of relations with asset managers and major financial institutions in Japan. Ireland’s range of funding structures and proactive regulation policies offer a number of opportunities for Japanese companies operating in this sector. The IFIA seminar in Tokyo on 29 November is being held to enhance awareness of these opportunities among senior level finance industry figures in Japan. For more details, see www.irishfunds.ie.
27th November 2007