The King visits Japan with the Royal Technology Mission

From Tuesday 16 to Friday 19 February, The King took part in the 23rd Royal Technology Mission (RTM), an international delegation trip with a focus on technology, science and industry. This year's mission was to Japan, with 29 representatives from industry and authorities. The delegation was led by IVA's President Leif Johansson.

Tuesday 16 February

After arriving in Tokyo, the delegation visited the Sky Tree TV tower External link, opens in new window.. The delegates learnt more about the technology that has made it possible to build such a tall structure in Tokyo, which is prone to earthquakes.

The architectural firm Nikken Sekkei gave a presentation of the Sky Tree TV tower and talked about the design, the construction culture and the technology. Photo: Elin Vinger Elliot/IVA

During the afternoon, Business Sweden in Tokyo gave a presentation of the country. Japan is the world's third largest economy, and Sweden's second largest export market in Asia. Today, around 1,500 Swedish companies trade with Japan, with around 150 Swedish companies having a presence in the Japanese market

A dinner was held in the evening, hosted by Magnus Robach, Sweden's ambassador to Japan.

Wednesday 17 February

The second day in Tokyo began with a visit to Hitachi. The delegation was given an insight into various business-related, technological and strategic challenges.

There then followed a visit to the University of Tokyo External link, opens in new window.. The themes for the visit were energy research in Japan after Fukushima, technologies and collaboration, and research and innovation systems: incubators, commercialisation and collaboration.

The delegation learnt about the research being carried out at Tokyo Women's Medical University's laboratory. Photo:

The afternoon featured a visit to Tokyo Women's Medical University External link, opens in new window., where the delegation was given a presentation of the university and visited its laboratories.

Thursday 18 February

The third day began at Miraikan External link, opens in new window., the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. The delegation saw exhibitions on robotics and space. The museum aims to share the most innovative scientific and technological advances, and works closely with researchers to produce exhibitions, seminars and workshops.

At Miraikan, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Photo:

The RTM held a press conference at Miraikan, to which the Japanese media were invited. The King opened the press conference by explaining about IVA and RTM's international delegation trips. Ambassador Magnus Robach, IVA's President Leif Johansson and IVA's CEO Björn O. Nilsson spoke about the work of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) and about Japanese-Swedish interests such as cooperation within research and commerce.

At Fujifilm's Innovation Hub. Photo:

Two company visits took place during the afternoon. The first was to FujiFilm, where the themes were the transition from film to an innovative high-tech company and future growth markets.

The delegation then visited Canon to find out about the company's work to develop new business and its future growth markets. 

The evening concluded with RTM's official dinner for invited guests.

The view from the high-speed Shinkansen train: Mount Fuji, Japan's tallest mountain. Photo:

Friday 19 February

On the Friday, the mission travelled to Nagoya on Japan's high-speed train, the Shinkansen. There, the delegation visited two companies. The first was Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, where the delegates learnt about the production of the MRJ90 passenger plane. At automotive manufacturer Toyota, the delegates had the opportunity to test-drive the company's new fuel cell car.

During the introduction at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Photo:

After returning to Tokyo, the delegation met Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe during the afternoon.

The King concluded the day and the visit to Japan by meeting Emperor Akihito for dinner and discussions.

Royal Technology Missions (RTMs)

Since 1984, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences External link, opens in new window. (IVA) has arranged Royal Technology Missions (RTMs) around the world, at The King's initiative. The King is IVA's highest patron.

An RTM is a delegation trip for Swedish business leaders and representatives from authorities and universities. The primary aim is to make new contacts that can lead to a greater exchange of ideas and business. The King takes part in these delegation trips.