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Japan has been a favorite market for Irish companies in the Asia-Pacific region not only because the Japanese value loyalty in business, but also because they share an open-mindedness towards game-changing innovation.

“Ireland’s rule-based society, open and IT-advanced economy and the use of English as an official language provide foreign companies with a great business opportunity. I have observed on many occasions how the Irish people, private sector and government of Ireland have continuously made great efforts to improve on those advantages,” Ambassador of Japan Mitsuru Kitano said.

In the recent years, Ireland has gained global admiration for becoming a leading hub for technology. It has also convinced some multinational companies to move their European headquarters and main operations bases there. Although medical technology, fintech, aviation and engineering have shown impressive growth in exports to Japan, pharmaceuticals remain as the largest Irish export.

“Takeda is the oldest Japanese company operating in Ireland and we continue to invest in the country.  There’s something in the DNA of both countries and people that allow them to very quickly strike up a rapport and work effectively. I’ve seen this repeated over time. I think people in both countries have a common natural interest in our respective cultures and value the relationship aspect of business. I look forward to seeing further development and investment in Ireland,” Takeda Ireland General Manager Shane Ryan said.

Ireland has also emerged as one of the largest exporters of medical devices to Europe and has stepped up efforts to expand its business in Japan.

“Aerogen has been steadily building its presence and reputation in Japan over several years. Now, we feel it is the right time to accelerate our investment in the market. Aerogen is already recognized as the market leader in aerosol drug delivery in hospitals both in the US and Europe. We see Japan as our next biggest market opportunity and  have been very strategic about our business there, building our reputation by providing excellent patient care and customer and clinical support. We are in Japan for the long-term and now have our own local Aerogen management team working alongside our partners and distributors,” Aerogen founder and CEO John Power said.

Consistently working on improving business ties over the last 60 years, Ireland expects even better business because of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, which came into effect in 2019.

“It’s a very stable business environment. The Irish government is very pro-business because its agenda is to secure employment through global and local enterprises. Also, Ireland is a very open economy and its population is young. I’m passionate about bringing Japanese companies to Ireland because there are many reasons for them to come here, one of which is it is the gateway to Europe and beyond,” Japan External Trade Organization Dublin Correspondent Office Head Yasuyuki Ozeki said.

Meanwhile, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary General Niall Burgess has expressed optimism about the future of bilateral ties following the opening of the new Ireland House in Tokyo.

“The new Ireland House will support a deeper and broader partnership with Japan in the decades to come, and help drive new opportunities for Irish business in the region,” Burgess said.

“The new flagship Ireland House in Tokyo forms part of the government’s ‘Global Ireland’ expansion of overseas representation. It hosts our embassy and state agencies, like IDA Ireland (foreign direct investment promotion), Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia (Food Board) and Tourism Ireland, and provides a superb promotional platform for Ireland,” he added.