Ireland’s longstanding diplomatic links with Japan (dating back to the 1950s) are strong and have recently gained new impetus from the government’s Global Footprint 2025 Strategy (and of course the challenges of Brexit). On the 20th of July 2022, Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida issued a joint statement “Taking Forward Partnership with Shared Ambition”, which outlines a roadmap to strengthening ties between Ireland and Japan over the next number of years.
The Joint Statement sets out the vision of both governments on how to strengthen bilateral relationship in agri-food, financial services, ICT, life sciences and clean technologies, researchand all levels of education. A significant increase in institution partnerships and academic and student mobility will be promoted. Ireland’s commitment to strengthening current relations with Japan is further evidenced by the decision to build Ireland House in Tokyo (the largest ever capital investment by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in the history). This flagship development is also destined to strengthen Ireland’s overall presence in the Asia Pacific region.
Since its establishment in April 2020, UCD-JaSt has been at the forefront of innovation in relation to bringing together students, academics, industry and policymakers. It has also been building up a significant track record of research in the area, and has now been established in the European network of Japanese Studies’ scholars and researchers (as an institutional member of the European Association for Japanese Studies).
JaSt, together with the UCD Japan Group, has been helping UCD to fulfil its ambitions to increase and diversify its student/staff population through broader and deeper engagement with many Asian countries in critical areas of research, intercultural competence and employment. The Centre connects UCD’s students, researchers and professional and academic staff with partners (universities, research institutes and government bodies) in Japan, and the Japanese communities in Ireland and abroad. This is the second Annual Report, which we very proudly present.