Board Member Profile - Andy O' Doherty

What do you do in Japan?

I am the Japan country manager for H+K International. An Irish owned company designing and importing kitchen equipment to quick service restaurants chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway.

We set up in 2013 in Osaka, originally only servicing western Japan. Since 2018 we provide kitchen equipment to all 47 prefectures regularly. Currently, we have a staff of 20 based here in Osaka.

Tell us about your background?

I came over to Japan in 2004 as an engineer on the FAS Overseas Graduate Program, initially based in Mie for 3 years, I have also lived in Aichi, Kanagawa, Tokyo and now Osaka since 2013. All 4 companies I have worked for in Japan have had some Irish connection.

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

Originally as a representative of the Irish Network Japan I came to know many IJCC members around 2010. The IJCC were increasing their activity then, and I was happy to join and be a part of it.

I became a Director in 2014 after I had moved to Osaka, with a role to help support the chamber around Kansai.

What is your role in the IJCC?

I am an Osaka based board director, supporting the chamber here.

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

Open travel for families separated over the last 12 months.

What do you like most about Japan?

Lot of things to like, probably the transport system sticks out the most.

What is your favourite Irish / Japanese food?

I wasn’t a big eater of the stereotypical Irish foods back home, but strangely outside of Ireland, I developed an occasional need for Sausage, Stew and Bread. Kyojin online store is a great service to support that.

Being based in Osaka, I would have to say Okonomiyaki is my favourite Japanese food.

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

Japan, is any of the remote islands such as the Okinawa/Kagoshima stretch and those south of Tokyo.

Ireland, by the time things settle down, will be mainly happy just to go wherever family and friends are. But one of the Wild Atlantic Way destinations is usually part of a trip back.

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

I sang a duet of “With or Without You” with Michael Schumacher within a few weeks of arriving in Japan.

The 2 of us started a large singing session in a cramped karaoke box after the Suzuka F1.

After that night I could see I would probably be in this country for a while.