Belfast Telegraph

Kenny seeks to boost Japan trade

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will visit Japan over the next week as part of efforts to boost trade links.

Mr Kenny heads to the Far East tomorrow accompanied by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, as officials work on the significant potential for co-operation and trade in the agri-food sector.

The Government said the trip was arranged following an invitation by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe during his visit to Ireland in June on the back of the G8.

"I am delighted to have this opportunity to visit Japan as part of our ongoing strategy to strengthen Ireland's international reputation and convey to a wider audience the extent of Ireland's progress toward economic recovery," Mr Kenny said.

"Ireland and Japan have a long and well-established political and economic relationship and this visit provides us with an opportunity to develop our economic, political and cultural links further for the mutual benefit of both our countries."

Mr Kenny will hold talks with Mr Abe with a view to agreeing areas for future co-operation and also meet Japanese and Irish R&D companies and businesses in the services sector.

The trip, the first to Japan by a Taoiseach since 2009, runs until December 5.

The Taoiseach will speak at a symposium on green energy, co-organised with the Japan External Trade Organisation, which will highlight opportunities and latest technologies being developed by Irish companies, and give a keynote address on Ireland-Japan relations at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA).

A large number of company representatives will travel to Japan in conjunction with the official visit.

Mr Kenny will spend two days in Tokyo and then travel to Nagoya and Osaka to meet Irish and Japanese business leaders to promote trade, investment and business-to-business links.

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will be on their first visit to Japan at the same time as the Taoiseach.

On Tuesday they will meet Irish Ambassador John Neary and attend an embassy reception with the Taoiseach.

A meeting is scheduled later in the week with Mr Abe.

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