Ambassador Neary 2013

Letter to the organisers of the Experience Japan Festival 2013

I am delighted to send greetings to the organisers of the Experience Japan Festival 2013.
Here in Tokyo, we have been enjoying the beautiful cherry blossoms which are still in bloom despite coming earlier than usual this year.  The cherry blossom season is one of the most special times in Japan and lifts everyone’s spirits.  I know that the weather in Ireland has been very bad recently and I hope that you will soon feel the warmth of Spring that we are enjoying here.
The Experience Japan Festival is a wonderful opportunity for Irish people to experience some of the marvellous aspects of Japanese culture.  Here in Japan, Irish culture is very widely appreciated and I believe that there is an affinity between our two countries which is best expressed through cultural activities.
Culture is so important in the relationship between Ireland and Japan because it brings people together and helps them to understand and appreciate each other better.  And it is the connections between Irish and Japanese people, particularly young people, that will deepen the friendship between our countries in the future.
So I congratulate the organisers of the Experience Japan Festival 2013 and wish them every success.  I hope that everyone who takes part in the Festival will have an enjoyable time and take home happy memories of the richness and beauty of Japanese culture.
John Neary
Ambassador of Ireland
Tokyo
5 April 2013