We made our first foray into Japan at the Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce Dinner Thursday December 2nd at which the new Irish Ambassador John Neary was honoured. The Japanese online gaming company, Gala, head-up by Satoru Kikugawa also got a nod at the event. Gala have announced an additional 40 jobs (approx) at their very successful Irish operation expanding into Europe. Satoru is also a keen sailor.
The Dinner was held in the Conrad Hotel in Tokyo where Irishman Mark Meaney is head of Food and Beverage
Trevor Allen was stuck for words when asked by a Japanese journalist ‘What’s the difference between an Irish Pub and an English Pub?’. After a thoughful pause, his French friend who had worked in Irish Pubs for many years spoke up; ‘Ezzz easy’ said the Frenchman, ‘It’s the people!’.
And so it is, and this the challenge facing Irish Pubs in Japan. There are an estimated 50+ pubs, of which 30 or so are in Tokyo. The main problem Japanese owners contend with is building a real connection with Ireland – and that’s where Irish Pubs Global can help! All at the Irish Chamber together with the Irish Network in Japan headed up by Andy O’Doherty and the Ambassador were positive on the idea of connecting Irish pubs in Japan and forming a Japanese Chapter of the Irish Pubs Global Owners & Managers Association.