The year 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan. On December 5, a celebratory event was co-hosted at Waseda University by the Waseda and the Embassy of Ireland in Japan to commemorate the long diplomatic relations between the two countries, and to serve as a book launch lecture for the book “Ireland and Japan: 1957-2017” written by Professor Michael Kennedy. More than 250 students, academic and non-academic staff, as well as people from the public attended and witnessed the event.
The event was kick started by Vice President of International Affairs Professor Norimasa Morita’s welcoming speech, in which he emphasized the significance of the long diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan. Following which, Irish Ambassador to Japan Anne Barrington addressed the audience and welcomed further exchange between both countries, as well as between Waseda University and Ireland. In her speech, she also commented on the strong ties shared by the two countries where she made reference to the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly awarded to Irish Professor William Campbell and Japanese Professor Satoshi Omura.
In the lecture by Professor Michael Kennedy of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor Kennedy introduced some of his recent works and touched on his research process for writing a book. The lecture was also followed by a Q&A section, where he responded to questions by the audience such as on the background of the growing Japanese presence in Ireland.
Japanese Ambassador to Ireland Chihiro Atsumi also talked explicitly about the bilateral exchange between Japan and Ireland in the fields of economy, politics and culture before making closing remarks at the event.