Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said that Ireland is an extremely important partner for Japan.

The first head of the Japanese government to visit Ireland, Mr Abe is in Dublin having attended the G8 Summit in Co Fermanagh.

Mr Abe said he deeply respects the process Ireland has gone through under difficult conditions, working seriously to free the country from the debt crisis.

At a press conference following bilateral talks, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he sees great opportunities for Ireland and Japan working together in the areas of business, innovation and education.

He said: "We will use these links for economic progress and growth in jobs."

Mr Kenny the two heads of state spoke about aging societies, the pharmaceutical sector, and universities.

They agreed that the two governments would work together on student and research exchanges; trade and investment relationships and to promote innovations.