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Bringing Japan closer to Ireland and the World

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JICE’s engagement with Ireland began in 2006 when we decided to support and assign judges to the “Young Persons’ Recitation Contest in Honor of Lafcadio Hearn” held in Matsue, capital city of Shimane Pref. every September. Matsue was once home to the Greek-Irish author who had gained Japanese nationality and introduced Japanese culture to the world through his writing.

Our relationship with Ireland further developed by sending our staff to study English at University College Dublin (UCD) and participating in “Experience Japan”, an annual festival to introduce Japanese culture held in Dublin.

More recently, we host Irish youths who visit Japan under MIRAI Program, a youth exchange program between Japan and Europe sponsored by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by JICE.

With the inauguration of Mr. Paul Kavanagh as Ambassador of Ireland to Japan will further boost JICE’s engagement with Ireland. One of the ideas under contemplation is to work together with the Irish Embassy to promote exchange of young entrepreneurs of both countries through professional attachment.

Looking forward, we will commit ourselves to help increase an understanding about Japan’s history, culture and society by taking stocks from Hearn’s great literacy contributions and our long standing partnership with Ireland, his home country.

Takayuki Sakurai

General Affairs Division

General Affairs Department

Photographs at the “Young Persons’ Recitation Contest in Honor of Lafcadio Hearn” on September 23rd, 2018

Group photo after Awarding Ceremony: Mr. Masataka Matsuura/Mayor of Matsue City(5th from right of the front row), Mr. Paul Kavanagh/Ambassador of Ireland to Japan(Center of the front row)
From right to left, Ms. Sachiko Yamano/President of JICE, Ms. Keirin Henneberry & Ms. Akari Ozawa/winners of JICE award, Ms. Maki Saito & Ms. Hikari Kobayashi/judges from JICE
From right to left, Mr. Paul Kavanagh/Ambassador of Ireland to Japan, Mr. Anthony Kelly/Coordinator for International Relations of Matsue City, Mr. Yoshinobu Hoshino/Vice Mayor of Matsue City, Mr. Bon Koizumi/ Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum Director; Great-grandson of Lafcadio Hearn