Japanese journalist won over by welcome

Fermanagh Herald journalist, Ryan Smith, speaking with Japanese journalist Kazutaka Ito, of The Asahi Shimbun

Fermanagh Herald journalist, Ryan Smith, speaking with Japanese journalist Kazutaka Ito, of The Asahi Shimbun

THE world’s media has begun to descend on the county, among them one caller at the Herald whose paper claims to have 16 million readers.

Kazutaka Ito, who has been a journalist for close to 14 years, is a London correspondent for Japanese national title ‘The Asahi Shimbun’, and, he spent several days in Enniskillen sussing out the venue for the G8 summit.


“I came here to write a report about the G8 venue,” he explained.

“My first impressions were that it’s beautiful. Partly thanks to the weather – but the lake, the forest green and the town is beautiful.

“And I have talked to many local people and I’ve found people really friendly.”

An issue that appeared central to the journalist’s mind was that of the Enniskillen bombing in 1987, something that surprised him when he was researching the area.

“Before coming here I did my homework, learning about the history of the troubles, the Enniskillen bomb in 1987,” said Kazutaka.

“I was shocked especially because 11 civilians were killed, and it wasn’t targeted particularly at soldiers and it’s still only 25 or 26 years ago.

“I was surprised but at the same time I thought that it the G8 was a message from the UK government that this is a totally stable, safe and a suitable place for the G8 summit.”


And has there been much talk about the county in Japan?

“People in Japan wouldn’t know about County Fermanagh – but in London, yeah, we’ve been talking about the G8 summit and County Fermanagh.”

And, he expects the county to be reported globally.

“I think the G8 summit will be reported globally, including Japan, and people will know about Enniskillen and Lough Erne.

“I think still many Japanese people have sort of a stereotype that Northern Ireland is a dangerous place because of the troubles. Some people will say ‘Is it safe now’?

“But if they see that the world leaders are gathering and holding the meeting in the golf resort, and hopefully if the weather is nice, they’ll see the beautiful lake – and say ‘Oh why not come here?’”

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA