On Sunday 22 April 2018, The King and Queen began their visit to Japan. This year, Sweden and Japan celebrate 150 years of diplomatic relations, and The King and Queen’s official visit is at the invitation of the Japanese government. Sweden’s government is represented by ministers Ann Linde and Ibrahim Baylan, who are accompanying The King and Queen on their visit.
The visit to Japan officially begins on Monday, when The King and Queen will be received by The Emperor and Empress of Japan.
Activities began on the Sunday, when The King and Queen and ministers attended the Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan’s garden party for the Swedish colony and Japanese friends of Sweden to mark the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations. On arrival, The King and Queen were received by SCCJ Chairman Thomas Östergren. The King then gave a speech to the 700 guests who had gathered for the garden party. Afterwards, the children’s choir from the Swedish School in Tokyo provided entertainment for the guests.
At the garden party The King and Queen also had the opportunity to meet representatives from the Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA) and Swedish Alumni Network. The Swedish School in Tokyo offers language teaching once a week for children with a Swedish connection. The school brings together around 50 children aged six to 15, and has been in existence since 1987. SWEA is a network for Swedish women and Swedish-speaking women who are, or have been living abroad. SWEA Japan celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and has around 35 members. The Swedish Alumni Network is an association for people in Japan who have studied, or intend to study in Sweden at university level. The association started in 2017 and now has just over 300 members.
Vid besöket träffade Kungaparet även representanter för de åtta svenska företag som ställde ut i ambassadens utställningshall.
After leaving the embassy on Sunday afternoon, The King and Queen paid a visit to the National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (MOMAT) to gain an insight into the history of Japanese modern art. MOMAT is located next to the imperial palace in central Tokyo. The museum exhibits Japanese art from the period of the Meiji Restoration in 1868 up to the present day. MOMAT has one of Japan’s largest collections of modern art, with over 13,000 objects. The collection includes everything from watercolours and oil paintings, to wood engravings, calligraphy and sculptures.
On arriving, The King and Queen were welcomed by the director of the museum, Hiroshi Kamiyo. The King and Queen and minister Ann Linde were then given a guided tour of the exhibition “MOMAT Collection” by head curator Shogo Otani. The temporary exhibition ”The 150th Anniversary of his Birth: Yokoyama Taikan” was also viewed by The King and Queen and minister Ann Linde.
The visit officially begins on Monday 23 April, when The King and Queen will meet the Japanese Imperial Couple.