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Wednesday, 14th January 2009
In Business In Japan,

Irish prime minister leads Japanese trade mission

The Irish premier Brian Cowen is currently leading the largest trade delegation in his country's history to Japan, the world's second biggest economy.

An official told the Associated Press that the aim of the trip was to boost the amount investment coming to Ireland from Japan.

Mr Cowen held a meeting with business leaders today (January 14th) and is due to meet his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso and Emperor Akihito.

Representatives of around 70 Irish businesses and organisations, as well as trade and commerce minister John McGuinness and agriculture minister Brendan Smith, are accompanying Mr Cowen on the six-day trip.

Mr Smith said that in addition to boosting trade, the prime minister wanted to strengthen bilateral cooperation in research and development for pioneering, high-tech pharmaceutical areas.

Many of the business and cultural links between the two countries manifest themselves in the Ireland Japan Association which was founded in 1990 as a merger of the Ireland Japan Society and the Ireland Japan Economic Association.