Board Member Profile - Akira Shimura

What do you do in Japan?

From 2017, I work as a development manager of overseas hotel projects with Toyoko Inn Development Co. Ltd (hotel developing company) and as Tohoku regional manager with Toyoko Inn Co., Ltd (hotel operating company).


Tell us about your background?

Most of my vocational carrier, I had engaged with development assistance of developing countries through grant & concessional lending at JBIC/JICA (Japanese governmental agencies).  I was basically a practitioner to complete projects in time and in budget as planned coping with various problems arising from stakeholders – in most cases not really successful.  I had learned a lot through failures.  Taking early retirement from JICA, I went to Yamaguchi ken to rebuild a distressed local construction company and spend four years to reorganize it.


How did you come to join the Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce?

I succeeded my colleague Mr. Hashimoto who was a former director of IJCC for three years to act as another liaison with Irish business circle.


What is your role in the IJCC?

To support IJCC to broaden its activities through sponsorship.


What are you looking forward to over the next 12 months for Ireland Japan relations?

I sincerely wish that we can go back to business as usual so that at lease we can come and go  between two countries without much frustration.


What do you like most about Ireland?

Friendly people!


What is your favorite food?

Yoshinoya no Gyudon! (Beef and rice bowl at Yoshinoya)

Of course many other favorites but Gyudon was the first thing what our family wanted to eat when we came back from Pakistan after spending three years.


What is your favorite place to visit in Japan / Ireland?

I have been to Ireland three times but stayed only in Dublin city so far.  I would like to visit other cities to seek possibilities to develop our hotels in future.


What is one thing that a lot of people don't know about you?

I played rugby football at high school and a big rugby fan since then.  I witnessed the historical World Cup match between Ireland and Japan at Shizuoka wearing the green jersey thanks to Irish Embassy.