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An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation meets Her Imperial Highness Princess Hisako Takamado in Japan during Enterprise Ireland / IDA Ireland trade and investment mission

Visit highlights how EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement offers new opportunities for Irish companies in world’s 3rd largest economy

An Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation met with Her Imperial Highness Princess Hisako Takamado in Tokyo today (28th September) at a business reception for Irish companies and senior executives from Japanese corporates.

The event rounded off the first day of the Tanaiste’s visit to Japan which is part of a five-day joint Enterprise Ireland / IDA Ireland trade mission to Singapore and Japan (25-29th September 2017).

HIH Princess Takamado is well known to the Irish community in Japan. She met An Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. when she visited Ireland last July as part of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan.

Speaking after the meeting and addressing members of Keidanren – Japan’s largest business association, An Tánaiste said: “I am delighted to meet with Her Imperial Highness Princess Hisako Takamado again and also members of Keidanren to discuss the strong growth in trade between our two countries and of course future opportunities that exist. This trade mission is a great opportunity to develop our trade links and deepen our relationship with Japan at this time of enhanced economic partnership. Ireland strongly welcomes the new EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement - in practical terms, the EPA will allow Ireland and Japan to do more business together and it is good news in particular for our food exporters. By addressing issues related to market access for goods, services and investment, procurement, non-tariff measures and the protection of geographic indicators and intellectual property rights, it will stimulate more business activity between our two countries and contribute to our economic growth when it is finally introduced. The EPA is also particularly welcome for Ireland in the context of Brexit as it will give Irish companies access to a new market and opportunities for diversification”.

Also speaking at the Keidanren event, Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland outlined what it takes to win business in Japan.

“Japan is a long-established, important trading partner for Ireland. Enterprise Ireland client exports to Japan grew by 19% in 2016 to €149m with growth balanced across sectors including Digital Technologies, Fintech, Industrial, Life Sciences and Food. It is a demanding market but one that is increasingly open to world class innovation, something which opens up enormous opportunities for innovative Irish companies. Enterprise Ireland has strengthened the team in Japan in the last 12 months to increase our capacity to influence Japanese companies to source their innovative products, processes and services from Ireland”.

160 Enterprise Ireland client companies are currently exporting to Japan including a number of which will hold significant meetings with customers on this trade mission including;

  • C & F Green Energy. Headquartered in Athenry, Co. Galway this family owned group employs over 400 people. Its proprietary wind turbine technology is now being deployed across Japan contributing to the country’s drive to reorient its energy mix. The company will meet with their Japanese customer Airport Facilities Ltd. which is responsible for Japan’s airport infrastructure to agree how to accelerate the deployment of C & F’s wind turbine technology by Airport Facilities Ltd.

  • Dublin based software company Daon will deploy its mobile banking authentication solutions in a new Joint Venture company, Polarify, formed with SMBC (Japanese megabank) and NTT Data.

  • Clinical Trial Endpoint an Irish healthcare software services company based in Dublin have launched a project with a large customer CMIC which they will meet during the trade mission to Japan.

Over the course of Thursday 28th and Friday 29th September 2017 An Tánaiste will meet with a number of potential and existing IDA Ireland client companies in Japan.

She will also lead a roundtable with Enterprise Ireland Fintech client companies and Nikkin, the Japanese financial sector trade publisher to raise awareness of Irish FinTech capability and the enabling ecosystem to a Japanese Financial sector audience.


For more information contact:

Grace Labanyi,

Corporate Communications, Enterprise Ireland

Tel: +353(0)873286404


Conor O'Donovan,

Head of Communications, Enterprise Ireland

Tel: +353 (0)87 967 1342 


Notes to the editor:

The EU is negotiating a trade agreement with Japan. EU firms already export over €58bn in goods and €28bn in services to Japan every year. But European firms face trade barriers when exporting to Japan which make it hard for them to compete.

The EU wants a trade agreement with Japan to:

  • remove these barriers
  • help shape global trade rules in line with our high standards and shared values
  • send a powerful signal that two of the world’s biggest economies reject protectionism.

In 2013 EU governments instructed the European Commission to start negotiations with Japan. On 6 July 2017 the European Union and Japan reached an agreement in principle on the main elements of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. (European Commission