150 years of diplomatic relations – the royal couple visits Japan

Japan and Sweden celebrate 150 years of diplomatic relations, and during the year many activities are being planned that highlight the anniversary. Annika Rembe, Director-General of the Swedish Institute, participates in the high level business delegation during the visit and contributes on themes such as children's rights, culture and education.

On 22-25 April 2018, the royal couple officially visits Japan on the invitation of the Japanese government. The purpose of the visit is to strengthen the relations between the countries with a focus on innovation, partnership and investment. The Swedish Institute takes part in the visit to promote long-term relationships in business, child rights issues, culture and education.

The royal couple, together with Ann Linde, Minister for EU Affairs and Trade, will meet the Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Manabu Horii to talk about Japan’s work to stop violence against children. The meeting is  a follow-up to the High Level Conference on Violence Against Children “Agenda 2030 for Children, End Violence Solutions Summit”, held in Stockholm 14-15 February 2018, where the Queen participated.

The Swedish Institute, together with Sweden’s Embassy in Tokyo, is planning a seminar in June focusing on Agenda 2030, Goal 16.2: Eliminating abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence or torture against children. The background for the seminar is an exhibition about Astrid Lindgren, which opens in Japan this autumn. Sweden and Japan are both pathfinding countries in the Global Partnership to eliminate violence against children and through cooperation between our countries, we can achieve greater success in strengthening different actors in their work.

Teaching the Swedish language and sharing information about Sweden and Swedish conditions to Japanese students helps to ensure good relations between our countries in the future. SI will draw attention to the work of the Swedish Department, Graduate School of Language and Culture, at the University of Osaka, by submitting a special contribution. The contribution will be used for student trips to Sweden in connection with in-depth studies in the Swedish language and Swedish conditions. SI has also been given funding from the Government to support the Commemorative Scholarship Fund, which grants scholarships for studies, research and internship in Sweden and Japan.

In October, a major design initiative will take place in Tokyo during the Design / Art Festival, where Sweden will be a partner country. The venture is called Swedish Design Moves Tokyo and will span widely across the design field, from architecture and product design to fashion and crafts. The initiative is a collaboration between actors in both countries; in addition to SI, other Swedish contributors are Visit Sweden, Architects Sweden and Svensk Form .

For more information about the Design Art Festival: