Partner Focus - The Irish Network Japan

Why did your organization setup in Japan?

The Irish Network Japan (INJ) is a volunteer organization and was established in 1987. Its goal is to create a social and cultural network for the Irish community living in Japan and those with an interest in Ireland.

The INJ started the Irish Annual Ball and the Sports day in the ’90s. The Sports Day had an Australian team and Irish team play a number of games of compromised football - a mix of Aussie and Irish football.

The INJ established in 1992 the first St Patrick’s Day parade in Japan, which marched on the sidewalk in Roppongi. As the years rolled on the Irish Network Japan has continued to grow and develop, as have our parades. We now have our Tokyo parade in Omotesando Dori. The INJ also support:

  • Ise Ohtorii Green Light Up (INJ Mie)
  • Ireland Festival in Fukuroi (Shizuoka)
  • St. Patrick's Day Parade Kyoto (INJ Kyoto)
  • Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Kumamoto (Kumamoto)
  • Ireland Green Festival Nagoya (Aichi)
  • St. Patrick's Day Night in Osaka (INJ Osaka)
  • The I Love Ireland Festival (Tokyo)
  • St. Patrick's Day Parade in Okayama (INJ Okayama) the newest parade to join the INJ
  • Takamatsu Ireland Festival (Kagawa) INJ Takamatsu
  • St. Patrick's Day in Sapporo (Hokkaido)
  • Fukui Patricks Day (Fukui)
  • St. Patrick's Day Parade Matsumoto (Nagano)
  • Ireland Green Fest Nagoya (Aichi)
  • Good day for green 〜market of music & green〜 (Gifu)

We hope that we continue to add more prefectures in the future.


What initiatives are you looking forward to in the next year?

In these current difficult times, a lot has changed in a very short time. The INJ is continuing to promote and support the Irish community at large. We as the INJ committee will be looking at safe ways to continue our work within the Irish community. Watch this space.


For you, why is involvement in the IJCC important?

The relation between the INJ and the IJCC is very important because the two organizations complement each other well. The INJ focus on a different part of the Irish and Japanese demographic to the IJCC. The IJCC focus on developing and promoting Irish relations in the corporate area where INJ is focused on the social and cultural aspects of the general public. As the chairperson of the INJ, I will be working on developing our partnership further for the betterment of the Irish community at large.


How can ties between Ireland and Japan become closer?

The 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan last year really increased Ireland’s profile within Japan after they beat Ireland in the quarter-finals. That win by the Japanese sparked interest in Ireland. We have another opportunity with the Irish coming to Japan for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. We look forward to working with the Irish Embassy and our partners as well as the Irish community to bring both cultures together during this event.

I believe we can continue to improve, unite, support and promote all aspects of the Irish community throughout Japan. We can bring Japan and Ireland relations closer. I would like to see in the future the Irish community be able to secure larger sponsorship deals that would help and support all aspects of the Irish community throughout Japan, not just one or two organizations. The Irish community in Japan has the wonderful support of the Ireland Fund, IDA, the Irish Embassy and sponsorship partners throughout Japan. We as a community can grow to level when we no longer have to educate people on Ireland but instead spend our time promoting a well-known Ireland.